Tag Archives: Neilson

260 – Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces From Chasewater News – Autumn & Winter 2002 Part 6 – Loco Shed

260 – Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces

From Chasewater News – Autumn & Winter 2002

 Part 6 – Loco ShedSentinel test steaming on arrival Sid Mills

Loco Shed 1Loco Shed 2Neilson 1978

2 Centenarians at Chasewater Railway

On platform colour

2 Centenarians at Chasewater Railway

The Chasewater Railway Museum has  a significant amount of paperwork formerly belonging to David Ives, a founder member of the Railway Preservation Society and a long-time Board Member of the Chasewater Railway.  Our curator is working his way through this paperwork to put it in some sort of order, and is finding some interesting photographs in some of the boxes, including the ones shown here.B&W no people

The centenarians involved are the traction engine ‘Little Wonder’ and the Neilson steam locomotive known as ‘Alfred Paget’  (2937/1882).

The gentlemen in the photo holding the cake are the late Johnny Mayes, at the time the owner of ‘Little Wonder’,  and the late David Ives of Chasewater Railway, on the right.

Hats off

245 – Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces From Chasewater News – Summer & Autumn 2001 5 – Loco Shed News

245 – Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces

From Chasewater News – Summer & Autumn 2001. 5 –

Loco Shed News

Sentinel December 1992Loco Shed 1Loco Shed 2Loco Shed 3Pic 917

220 – Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces From Chasewater News – Summer 1998 – Part 5 Renovation of No.2937 Neilson 0-4-0

220 – Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces

From Chasewater News – Summer 1998 – Part 5

Renovation of No.2937 Neilson 0-4-0

Paul Whittaker

Neilson PC

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.

Neilson Tube Plate

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.

Neilson Boiler

Spring in the Diesel Yard

Albert Dean

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!)

Ruston & Hornsby DL7. Early days at Chasewater

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.

General News

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

Arthur Edwards

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.

Steve W Digging


Steam Locos of a Leisurely Era 1886- Caledonian Railway Neilson 4-2-2

Steam Locos of a Leisurely Era

1886- Caledonian Railway Neilson 4-2-2

The engine as running in 1930, after receiving LMS red livery.

This engine was constructed by Neilson & Co. in 1886 for the Edinburgh exhibition, at the termination of which it was taken over by the Caledonian Railway.  Although designed primarily by the makers, Dugald Drummond, then locomotive superintendent of the Caledonian Railway, evidently had a hand in it, as it embodied certain of his characteristic features, such as the cab and boiler mountings.  It took part in the 1888 Race to Scotland between the West and East Coast routes, when it ran between Carlisle and Edinburgh with a load of four coaches, maintaining a daily average time of 107¾ minutes for the 100¾ miles.  This included the ascent of Beattock Bank, nine miles of continuous climbing between 1 in 74 and 1 in 88, preceded by a further three miles of 1 in 202.  For a number of years after the First World War it was used only for hauling the Directors’ saloon, but in the early 1930s it was again put into ordinary traffic on local trains between Perth and Dundee, by which time it had also received a new boiler, with Ramsbottom safety valves over the firebox instead of mounted in the dome.  It was withdrawn from service in 1935 and restored to its Caledonian blue livery for preservation, with its original number 123.  This latter had been subsequently altered to 1123, and whilst in service with the LMS it was No.14010.  The engine has recently (1959) been put into working order again for use with enthusiasts’ specials.

Driving wheels – 7’ 0”,  Bogie wheels – 3’ 6”,  Trailing wheels – 4’ 6”,  Cylinders – 18”x 26”,  Pressure – 160 lb.,  Tractive effort – 12286 lb.,  Weight – 41 tons 7 cwt. Caledonian Railway no 123 at Glasgow’s transport museum. Date 9 July 2007, 11:11:15  Source originally posted to Flickr as Royal portrait Author Les Chatfield Permission  (Reusing this file)  This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

Chasewater Railway Museum’s first new acquisition in 2012

A very welcome addition to the Museum collection

Pic – Great Central Railwayana

A 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 6¼”, the front of the plate has been repainted.

Thanks to the donations from our Museum visitors and the generosity of the Museum supporters in giving raffle prizes and running tombola stalls, etc , the curator was able to purchase the worksplate and eventually worksplate and loco will be reunited. For the time being it will be on display in the Museum.

Steam Locos of a Leisurely Era 1866 – London Chatham & Dover Railway – 0-4-2Ts

Steam Locos of a Leisurely Era

1866 – London Chatham & Dover Railway – 0-4-2T

A class of fourteen engines built by Neilson & Co. in 1866 during the superintendency of W.Martley.  The design, however, was by Archibald Sturrock of the Great Northern, which line had also twenty similar locomotives.  Both railways’ engines were built for working the through services between the two lines from Hatfield to Herne Hill via the Metropolitan Railway.

The LCDR engines were numbered 81-94, and for some reason, possibly on account of their having been built in Glasgow, were given Scottish names, Iona, Staffa, Clyde, Spey, and so on.  These, however, were all later removed.  The engines gave good service for many years, and some lasted to be absorbed into SECR stock at the 1899 amalgamation with the South Eastern.  They had 459 added to their numbers and they were scrapped during the early 1900s.  They were built with ‘haystack’ fireboxes, but were rebuilt with flat topped boilers in later years.

Driving wheels – 5’ 6”,  Trailing wheels – 4’ 0”,  Cylinders – 17”x 24”,  Weight – 41 tons 10 cwt. Pic – No.83  Jura as originally built

130 – Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces Alfred Paget nearly got to Bescot – August 1990

130Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces

Alfred Paget nearly got to Bescot – August 1990

(Or the Not-so-Flying Scotsman) – P. Aldridge

BR’s ‘Bescot Open Day’ took place on Sunday, 6th May.  BR had requested that they borrow our venerable Neilson ‘Alfred Paget’ for the event.  We replied ‘yes’ but only if they cosmetically restored the engine, insured it and provided the transport.

Photo: P.Aldridge

Ian Edwards then spent many hours repainting the loco and even applied ‘No.11’ to the tank sides and buffer beams, so that the old engine looked very fine.  Arrangements were made to move the loco on Good Friday – but were then cancelled (pity no-one thought to tell me!) and re-scheduled for 3rd May.  Various Society members told the BR representative that a lifting frame would be needed and that trying to lift the loco with slings under the frames would not be permitted for fear of damaging our loco.

‘Don’t worry’ they said ‘we are professionals.’

The day arrived, and the said ‘professionals’ brought a low loader and a crane, but no lifting frame! Predictably they were unable to lift the loco, and, after six hours of struggling, gave up!

Thanks are due to Ian Edwards for restoring the loco, even though it did not get to Bescot.  Thanks are also due to Messrs. Emery, Newbold and Organ, plus a hologram of myself (I wasn’t there as I was off work sick) for organising the shunting and supervising the ‘lift’ – or lack of it!

Photo: P.Aldridge

Further thanks are also due to BR who provided the low loader and the crane.  Perhaps next time the ‘professionals’ will listen to us ‘AMATEURS’ who do, after all , have some idea what we are talking about!

Despite this disappointment it wasn’t a total waste of time, for even though our Neilson did not get to the Open Day, our sales stand did, and Mr. Bull added £200 to our coffers in a very successful day’s sales.

116 – ChasewaterRailwayMuseum Bits & Pieces From Chasewater News January 1988

116ChasewaterRailwayMuseum Bits & Pieces

 From Chasewater News January 1988

 From the Editorial

It is eleven years since I last prepared an edition of our Railway’s magazine.  I do so now following our Publicity Director’s decision not to stand for re-election fro personal reasons.  As Company Chairman, however, I intend to act purely as a commissioning editor, so as to avoid any accusation of bias in editorial policy. Rob Curtis has also decided to stand down, as he is about to start a new job and sadly no longer has the time to be as active on the Railway as in the past.

 From the first AGM of the Chasewater Light Railway & Museum Company

The new Board for 1988/89 is composed thus:

Chairman – Steve Organ

Engineering Mgr – T.R.Sale

Operations Mgr – N.V.Canning

Commercial Mgr – B.J.Bull

Financial Mgr – L.J.Emery

Ex Officio – I.M.Newbold, A.C.R.Hall

In addition, the vacant posts of General Manager and Publicity Manager will be covered for the time being by Tony Sale and Steve Organ respectively.  Further, Adrian Hall has offered to continue as Company Secretary.

 The (lost) Causeway

Many of our members have in recent weeks expressed concern about the condition of the causeway which we hope to run passenger trains across to the far side of the lake eventually.  The problem is that some years of neglect, and very high levels of water in Chasewater, coupled with long periods of high winds causing severe wave action to erode the sides of the causeway have combined to completely breach the causeway.Our Company is powerless to do any remedial work, since we at present have no ‘Lawful Interest’ in the causeway, i.e. we don’t lease it at the moment.

Representations have been made to the local authority, Walsall Council, and at a recent meeting of the local authority’s recreation and amenities committee, the Engineer’s Department of Walsall Council were invited to make a detailed study of the problems and to investigate ways of restoring the whole of the causeway to an overall width which would allow both a Railway and a footpath to cross it.  Further, the Waterways Board have said that they will from now on abstract water from Chasewater before any of their BCN reservoirs, and also that this summer, the water level will be kept at a very low level.  This would allow for remedial works to be carried out.

One further point is that a Consulting Civil Engineer has, at our Company’s request, and without charges, examined the causeway, and suggested a relatively low-coast solution to the problem, and as soon as we receive his report, the local authority would like a copy – so perhaps all is not lost.  I hope to bring further news in the July edition of Chasewater News, but be assured that the Board are making as strong a representation as possible to Walsall Council about this vital link to Chasetown.Engineering Manager’s Report

Following a late start in 1987, we were able to run a train service for the first time since 1982, for which two locos, Asbestos and the Sentinel, and the Gloucester trailer coach were available.  No failures or serious faults occurred, although it has become apparent in this first season of continuous brake operation that improvements to the system can be made by relatively simple alterations to the system.  This work, along with annual maintenance, is now being carried out in readiness for the 1988 season, for which initially the same locos and coach will be used.

Work on four privately owned locos is currently being carried out on site, and their owners continue to put in a great deal of work on the Railway as well as their own locos.  The most likely of these to be steamed first is No.2 ‘Lion’ probably followed by No.7 ‘Invicta’ or No.3 ‘Colin McAndrew’.  Please feel free to come and see work in progress on these on any Sunday.

One priority job for the loco dept in 1988 must be the fitting of vacuum brake gear to one of the diesels to enable trains to be run on non-steaming days, and to provide cover in the event of a steam loco failure.  The cost of fitting this equipment, about £250, would be easily covered by the train fares taken on the event of ‘opportunist’ train operations i.e. where lots of people are in the park and we are not scheduled to run trains.

Another project for 1988 is the repair and restoration of the Wickham Trailer car.  This will allow us to run two-car trains for the first time, and doing so will allow us to generate extra income through the opening of a bar car, will give us extra braking power on trains, and will allow us the luxury of a spare coach in the event of a failure.

The coach is in basically sound condition, but requires seven new windows, and the doors require stripping and re-building.

Extension News

On 7th March, I formally applied to British Railways Board for License to operate passenger trains over the section of line from Willowvale Bridge to the Causeway.

The application to BR followed the purchase of the land from BR by Walsall Council, which was completed in November last.  Our Company’s predecessors bought the track on the land some years ago, but the Council slowed down the procedure of buying the land when our group ran out of steam in the early eighties, and only revived when our New Company breathed new life into the Chasewater Railway Project in October 1986.

Because we bought the track, BR gave us permission some years ago to maintain the formation of this section of line, so we very recently carried out work on the bridge, so that if BR give us the license we need, we can very rapidly move on to the section: I would feel we should be running trains along this stretch within 9 months of possession, to maintain the impetus of development of the line.  Steve Organ

 Civil Engineering

Work in this area has been concentrated in the last year on maintenance and simplification of the trackwork, incorporation of the Railway Inspectorates requirements, such as the installation of trap points, Annets locks, fencing, etc.  Whilst this work may seem tiresome, it is part and parcel of the business of running a railway and allows us to operate in confidence and in SAFETY.  (This next bit hurts!!) We are fortunate in the field of trackwork to have over the last year, gained a member, Chris Chivers, with experience and enthusiasm for p-way work (when he’s not setting things on fire).  (We’ve not managed to get rid of him yet!!).

We have also to thank Mr.J.L.Townsend, M.I.C.E., who has recently undertaken an inspection of Willowvale Bridge, and provided a formal report and detailed specifications for remedial work to it, work which is likely to be largely complete by the time you read this.

In view of the progress made in the last year, we are now making detailed plans for the future.

108 Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces – Autumn 1985 – 4 Another true anecdote in the series of an excerpt from the Chasewater Fat Controller’s diary.

108 Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces – Autumn 1985 – 4

Another true anecdote in the series of an excerpt from the Chasewater Fat Controller’s diary.  Date line Sunday, 24th March, 1985.

It was about 2 o’clock on a relatively mild afternoon when four men and a dog set off from 21G Hednesford Road to replace stolen chairs from the loop.  The freshly greased bearings on the trolley ran easily on the falling gradients towards Norton, with Hairy Youths dog bounding along the four foot a couple of yards in front.

Once over the facing point, the going became much harder as the ever helpful Task Force (remember them?) had dug the ballast out between each sleeper so the dog was having to negotiate ten inch high hurdles, two foot six inches apart.  Finally with the leading axle of the trolley rapidly closing on his right ear he decided he had had enough and leapt over the rail to his right – a split second too late.  ‘Klunk, klunk, klunk – yelp, yelp, yelp’.  The fully laden trolley had run over his back leg leaving a six inch tear in his flesh.

Having bitten his owner and growled at everyone else in range the dog was loaded onto the trolley and sent back to Brownhills West Station where the ubiquitous Spitfire was waiting to take him home.

That evening, Nurse Gillian is reputed to have taken the dog to work and rebuilt him bionically – this dog now has a starting tractive effort of 17,000lbs in full gear at 85% boiler pressure and may be used to work passenger trains when we get a Light Railway Order.The cover photo shows CLR No.11, the Neilson now known as Alfred Paget, shunting near Brownhills West on a special steaming on Saturday, 17th April 1982 for the Industrial Railway Society.  Photo by Mike Wood.  Good timing as the Society was at Chasewater again only a few weeks ago (2011).