Tag Archives: Peckett

Some Early Lines – Northampton to Market Harborough Branch

Some Early Lines

Northampton to Market Harborough Branch

Leaflet FrontNorthampton & Lamport Railway

Situated 5 miles north of Northampton, just off the A508 or A5199, The Lamport & Northampton Railway offers a great day out for families and railway enthusiasts alike.

Apart from the many special events, you can ride on a train hauled by one of the steam or heritage diesel locomotives every Sunday from the start of March until the end of October.

The present motive power includes a number of working steam and diesel locomotives, some of which carry the 2E shed plate in honour of Northampton’s steam depot which closed in 1965. Further locomotives and rolling stock can be seen in various stages of restoration.

http://www.nlr.org.uk

800px-Peckett_2104_at_Boughton_railway_station_May_2012Boughton, end of the line as of May 2012

History of the line

The Northampton to Market Harborough branch was designed by George R. Stephenson and was opened in1859. It had six stations and two tunnels (Kelmarsh 322 yards and Oxendon 462 yards) along its 18 mile length.

The branch carried goods and passenger traffic throughout most of its commercial life, but had an erratic period during the 1960s and 1970s when passenger traffic stopped and started a number of times. On August 16th 1981, after 123 years of service, the line was finally closed by British Raiilways.

Three years later, the Northampton & Lamport Railway’s volunteers started to rebuild the Railway in the old goods yard at Pitsford and Brampton Station. The first passengers were carried along the re-opened section in November, 1995. The line was officially opened on 31st March 1996.

After seven years of hard work and fundraising by the volunteers and at a cost of £50,000, 2002 saw the first passenger train to cross the restored bridge 13 since the line’s closure. Since then track has been laid on the southern extension and Boughton signal box has been built. A platform and run round loop will be constructed ay Boughton and then work will proceed on the northern section, which will require another £40,000 for the restoration of bridge 14!

EPSON scanner imageBrixworth Station

View northward, towards Market Harborough; ex-London & North Western Northampton – Market Harborough – Melton Mowbray – Nottingham secondary line. The station lost its passenger service on 4/1/60, goods on 1/6/64. The line was reopened for limited periods after that and not closed completely by BR until 15/8/81. Subsequently the Heritage Northampton & Lamport Railway has been able to lease the trackbed and is restoring the route.  © Copyright Ben Brooksbank and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

 Overview

The line between Northampton and Market Harborough was finally closed (by British Rail) on 16 August 1981, the intermediate stations on the route having been closed for many years.

In 1984 (just 3 years after the line’s closure) a group was formed with the intention of re-opening a section of the line as a heritage railway. The site opened to the public shortly afterwards. Following the granting of a Light Railway Order, the line carried its first fare-paying passengers in November 1995. The official Grand Opening Ceremony took place (just 4 months later) on 31 March 1996.

PeckettPeckett 2104 locomotive

Locomotive on the Northampton and Lamport Railway  © Copyright Richard Croft and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

 Currently, passenger trains operate on a section of line approximately 11⁄2 miles (2.4 km) in length, departing from and arriving at the only station, Pitsford and Brampton.

However, As of June 2013, An extension south had currently been under construction which adds another 1⁄2 miles (0.80 km) mile(s) of running line, with around 90% of track-relaying completed around Spring 2012. Once complete it will include a station with sidings and run-round loop at the former Boughton Crossing on the A5199 at the Northamptonshire village of Boughton.

A northern extension of the N&LR currently remains within the planning stage, but before work can start, however, extensive repairs are needed to Bridge 14 which carries the track over the River Nene. In addition Northamptonshire County Council, which owns the former trackbed, will not grant a lease on the land required for the extension until the NLR’s southern extension (to as far as Boughton) is completed. The previous extension opened after several years’ work and around £50,000 was spent on repairs to Bridge 13, (the same amount required for Bridge 14, when the NLR turns it’s intention northwards).

SBPitsford and Brampton Halt

Signal Box on the Northampton and Lamport Railway.  © Copyright Ian Rob and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

 The signalling system, with two working signal boxes (and a third under construction), makes it one of the most comprehensive and detailed on any heritage railway of its size, within Preservation. The Booking Office at Pitsford and Brampton station was built using the disused Lamport signal box, originally located around 51⁄2 miles (8.9 km) miles away on/up the same line. It had since been converted in such a way that it can be easily converted back into a signal box if whenever required in the future.

A third signal box has been installed at the Boughton Terminus; the former Betley Road signal box from Crewe is being used following its restoration.

The Brampton Valley Way is a “linear park” offering a traffic-free route for walkers, cyclists and pedestrians, and which runs alongside the railway, separated by a stout safety fence. Access is also available to horse riders on other sections away from the railway.

The railway is open for viewing from 10:00 to 17:00 on Sundays. Train rides are available on Sundays from March to October, steam-hauled from April to September (subject to availability).

Cl 47Class 47 locomotive 47205

One of the locomotives at Pitsford and Brampton Station on the Northampton and Lamport Railway  © Copyright Richard Croft and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

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145 – Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces – From Chasewater News Spring 1992 – Part 1

145 – Chasewater RailwayMuseum Bits & Pieces – From Chasewater News Spring 1992 – Part 1

Editorial Nigel Canning

A lot of progress has been made over the winter months at Chasewater to the extent that it is now very difficult to keep the news sections of the magazine updated before it is printed.  This is because there now seem to be a lot more people than ever before working regularly on our railway, and the effect of this is beginning to show.  The track extension is proceeding at a very impressive pace, and we are on the verge of having three steam locos available for running trains, and a choice of passenger and goods rolling stock in gradually improving condition.

Anyone wishing to help in any department on the railway will be most welcome at Chasewater this summer – if in doubt, please ask for details at the booking office.

Locomotive News

No.4 Asbestos – This loco finally passed its hydraulic test in March, and is now being re-assembled ready for steam testing.  A repaint is also being carried out so that the loco will re-enter service in green livery later in the year.

No.5 Sentinel – This loco has passed its annual visual boiler examination and was back in service on 11th April to work a special train for the Industrial Railway Society.  Trouble was again experienced with rust from the inside of the superheater coil being drawn up through the regulator box and blocking the steam supply to the Weir pump, steam brake and blower.  It is hoped that this will not become a regular occurrence otherwise our train service may suffer badly.

No.2 Lion – Progress on this loco has continued slowly, but following the recent delivery of the last of the long awaited new washout plugs the hydraulic test can now be carried out.  All of the copper pipe needed to replace that stolen a number of years ago has now been acquired and will shortly be bent and fitted.

S100 – The first of six pairs of axlebox hornguides have now been re-ground to a highly accurate mirror-like finish.  Work on the other five pairs is continuing.

Fowler – This loco has remained in service as our only working diesel, carrying out all shunting and works train duties.

DL7 – This loco has remained out of service with its engine partially stripped awaiting refurbishment of the cylinder heads.

No.21 Diesel – This loco has now been moved into the shed where work has continued on its restoration.  One major problem appears to be the radiator matrix which has rotted through and will require replacement.

Smith Rodley Crane – This was recently used to remove the saddle tank from Asbestos but has otherwise remained idle.

The E1 – B.J.Bull

E1  0-6-0T 110 leaves Mendip Vale for Cranmore  4/6/95. – John Chalcroft

When the former LBSCR loco was sold to three members of the East Somerset Railway and left Chasewater in 1978 for pastures new at Cranmore, it was agreed that we should receive regular updates on its restoration.

Following extensive (and expensive) repairs to just about every component part, the loco first steamed at Cranmore in July 1990.  This was a steam test minus tanks and a resultant fusible plug leak saw the fire dropped in order to affect repairs and try again another day.  Subsequent steam tests have found out other irritating problems – leaking pipework, regulator blowing past and so on.

The latest position gleaned from a phone conversation with the East Somerset Railway’s Barry Buckfield on 31st December, 1991 is that both tanks have been fitted, as has lagging and cladding, however a troublesome fusible plug has to be replaced, and valve setting is still to be carried out.  Sometime during 1992 the E1 will move under its own power for the first time in twenty nine years.

At one time it had been intended to restore the loco as British Railways 32110 in black livery which, of course, it never carried as it was sold by the Southern Railway to the Cannock and Rugeley Colliery Company in 1926.  The loco, it has now been decided, will be restored to traffic in Stroudley’s improved  engine green, although it will not carry the name ‘Burgundy’ associated with it during most of its LBSCR days.E1 Brian Rands1996

Once remaining work has been completed and running-in trials have taken place, the hundred and fifteen year-old will join that rare group of working centenarians in railway preservation.

Sisters, Sisters – P.Aldridge

While much of our collection at Chasewater is unique, some locomotives and carriages are similar to others preserved elsewhere.  Readers may be interested to know what is happening to these vehicles, and so here is a brief résumé –S100’s sister is at the Yorkshire Dales (sorry, Embsay Steam) Railway, and has sat derelict for many years, but during 1991 work started.  The loco, ‘140’, has been stripped down to its individual components, and with a large work force and plenty of money, progress is quite rapid.  New tanks, bunker and cab have now been built and the horn guides are being ground to something like the proper shape.  It is quite likely that ‘140’ will run again in 1994.H C 140 Embsay Charles Adams

Also at the YDR is ‘Annie’, a Peckett identical to our No.917.  This loco was in a very similar condition to ours, with a rotten tank and problems with the smokebox tubeplate.  Once again, this engine is likely to run in the next two years but it is difficult to see what use such a small engine would be at Embsay.  Perhaps we could borrow it!‘Annie’ Peckett 0-4-0ST – Pic, Simon Gott

Our long-suffering Gloucester DMU trailer is rapidly becoming an endangered species, as the West Somerset Railway have given up with its sister and sent it for scrap.  When DMUs were first preserved in the late sixties many enthusiasts complained, arguing that such vehicles were too commonplace to warrant preservation.  Now enthusiasts are complaining that the lines are disposing of these coaches.  (Being cynical, I expect they are the self-same people!)  It certainly proves that, as the old saying goes, nostalgia ain’t what it used to be!Gloucester DMU and Cravens DMU in early morning sun at Bishops Lydeard, West Somerset Railway, on 21 April 1987 – Photo by Stephen Edge

135 Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces From Chasewater News – April 1991 Part 3 A new Tank for Lion – Ian Newbold

135 Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces

From Chasewater News -April 1991 Part 3

A New Tank for Lion – Ian Newbold

When I bought this loco, I was aware that its saddle tank had seen better days, but I was naively optimistic despite over a decade of playing with other people’s locos. I should have known better! As the loco’s rebuild progressed, in the normal far from smooth manner, I started to investigate the tank more closely. Now some of the older hands at Chasewater were probably having a quiet snigger at this stage, and after a few days of shovelling debris out of the tank and hitting it with a hammer I realised I had quite a problem. This problem is known by a number of names, in Italian it is Fiat, in Japanese it is Datsun, in plain English – rust, and it has an iceberg-like quality – you only initially see the tip of the problem. At this point, I went away and started asking for advice. In reality, patching the tank was unlikely to solve the problem for more than a very short while, also, how do you weld to a lace petticoat-like structure? I think it would be a case of ‘chasing the dragon’. Anyway, I tried to keep all the options open in my mind, including a lorry-load of glass fibre and car body filler. If Flying Scotsman’s second tender could have six tons of concrete in the bottom to stop it leaking, I’m sure I could find a solution to Lion’s tank. Enquiries gave a guide commercial price of around £3,500 to £4,500 for a replacement saddle tank which to be honest was a little outside my price bracket, and as I didn’t want to upset the bank manager, it was find a cheaper option time. A feasibility study into the loading effects of side tanks proved that they were a contender which, while still pricey, were a fair bit cheaper than a saddle. Rubberised and other coatings for the inside of the original tank also came in for investigation. Whilst all this was going on, a chance question from an acquaintance at work started the ball rolling in a different direction. For the benefit of those who are unaware, I have the dubious fortune of working in the newspaper industry – not one of the world’s most stable jobs these days, and noted for its internal politics. Anyway, I was asked how the loco was coming on and I remarked ‘Fairly well except for the tank’. Later the same week a ‘piece’ appeared in the Birmingham Post about a chap who wanted a new saddle tank for his loco. The next day a gentleman named Peter Johnston, Director of the Coventry fabricating and plant installing firm of A.G.Brierly Ltd. contacted me at work, and after a phone chat he asked me if I could send a sketch with dimensions, and if he could handle the size he would do his best to help, provided I could wait until his workload was slack. That sketch was in the post to him later the same day. In the intervening time, I attempted to prise a copy of the loco’s drawings out of the NRM at York, however it seems that if you have a hairbrained scheme such as trying to re-create a mainline loco you can have the drawings, but to repair an existing industrial you have got no chance. Personally I think someone has got their priorities a bit wrong, why bother to keep these drawings if they cannot be used for what they were intended? Why not just have a nice bonfire? Anyway, about eighteen months later, last November, I received a phone call from Peter Johnston asking if the tank was ready to be taken away. It was, and about a week and a half later it was in Coventry. It was a few weeks later that my work roster allowed me to go and have a look at how things were progressing. What I saw came as a surprise, for I had been expecting the rotten section of the old tank to be renewed. What I was witnessing was the creation of a brand new faithful copy of the original made without drawings using modern construction techniques. A.G.Brierly Ltd. even went to the trouble of fitting false rivets to keep the appearance the same. My own feelings at the time were difficult to sum up simply, but elated gives a fair impression of them. Peter Johnston, it transpired, had been a coppersmith at Swindon Works and was undertaking this as a one-off project. Basically it was his donation to railway preservation. Also, having talked to him and to those associated with him, he is a very genuine person, a true gentleman. The new tank made its appearance at Chasewater the same day that the new coach arrived. I had attempted to ensure it arrived the day after, but a foul up over police escorts meant the coach arrived a day late – the best laid plans of mice and men and all that…. Needless to say that it proved to be a fairly exciting sort of day! As a public thank you, I managed to get the ‘Birmingham Post’ to do a follow-up ‘piece’ with a photograph of the new tank being fitted. I will admit to being a little apprehensive as the tank was lowered into position, as the fit between the front of the cab and a lip around the smokebox is rather snug. I needn’t have worried, to quote a friend of mine who watched the proceedings ‘it fitted like a glove’, an example of true craftsmanship. The gift of this new tank has helped ensure a reasonable future for ‘Lion’ as a working loco and I personally will always be indebted to Peter Johnston. I would also like to say thank you to all those at Chasewater who helped – especially Peter Aldridge for painting the inside of the tank – I believe his appearance afterwards was a sight to behold.

The Chasewater News magazine cover on No. 133 shows Lion with the new tank.

113 – Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces No.2 From ‘Chasewater News’ Summer 1987

113 – Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces No.2

From ‘Chasewater News’ Summer 1987

Permanent Way

Under the leadership of Chris Chivers a small group of workers have made a start on clearing the lineside undergrowth along the running line whilst a group of students spent a week clearing the passing loop beyond the current limit of operations.

The line has been weedkilled to give a more workmanlike look to the track and a catch point has been installed on the loco shed siding.

Work is now centred on the point connecting Nos. 2 & 3 roads in the compound, which were comprehensively written off by the new diesel!

From the Archives

Something which we expect to make a regular feature of in Chasewater News in which we feature anecdotes and snippets from items in the Museum Collection.  We begin this feature with items of local interest taken from the LMS Sectional Appendix to the Working Timetables dated March 1937.

Stafford

Stafford No.5 to Venables Sidings (LNT).  Drivers of trains not conveying passengers, proceeding to the LNE line must be prepared to receive a green hand signal when passing No.5 signal box.  The exhibition of this green hand signal will indicate that Venables Timber Yard crossing gates may be across the railway and drivers must be prepared accordingly.

Norton Branch

Five Ways Mineral Branch – between Five Ways and Conduit new Sidings.  In addition to LMS trains, the Five Ways Colliery Company’s engines work over this branch, and the Conduit Colliery Company’s engines work over a section of the branch between Conduit Colliery Sidings and Conduit Junction, and between Conduit Colliery Sidings and Conduit New Sidings.

Two keys are provided for padlocking the trap points – which must be obtained from the pointsman at Conduit Junction and must be returned to him on completion.

Five Ways

Before proceeding towards Five Ways, the guard must satisfy himself that the Colliery Company’s engine is stationary, and must set the road for the single line to the Colliery Sidings.   The line between the trap points and the sidings is used as the Colliery Company’s shunting neck, and on arrival from Conduit, train men having to place wagons in the sidings must at once place the signal provided for the purpose to danger to warn the Colliery enginemen that they must not come out on the shunting neck from the Colliery Sidings.  Before returning to Conduit the signal must be taken off, its normal position is ‘clear’.

After placing wagons in the sidings at Five Ways, engines waiting for loaded wagons must stand on the single line protected by the trap points before a train worked by either the Colliery Company’s or the LMS men leaves Five ways towards Conduits, the trap points must be set for the running line, and after the passage of such train must at once be reversed and securely padlocked for the trap by the guard.

Curator’s Notes

Peckett 0-6-0ST Hanbury

The Conduit Colliery locos referred to in the above would have been the four or perhaps five Manning Wardle 0-6-0STs in the Company’s ownership at that time.  Locos known to have been at Five Ways were the Peckett 0-6-0ST Hanbury and a Kitson 0-6-0T.  None of these locos survive but our museum does contain one nameplate and one worksplate ex Conduit Colliery and a brass No.2 off the Kitson.Coppice Coll. No.2 0-6-0T Kitson 5358-1921

East Somerset Railway and Cannock Wood

‘Cannock Wood’ No.9  in LBSC Livery

Older members may recall that when the E1 was sold to the Lord Fisher Locomotive Group in 1978 regular reports of its progress were to be received.  We make no apologies for giving news of the loco which left Chasewater nearly nine years ago.  The loco is now 110 years old – the hundredth engine built at the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway’s works at Brighton by William Stroudley and the doyen of the Cannock & Rugeley Colliery Co. fleet from 1926 through nationalisation and into National Coal Board days until withdrawal in 1963.

It is of interest to note that despite their intention to restore the loco to main line order as BR 32110, it never carried that number in service.  All reports refer to her as ‘Cannock Wood’ or number 9.

The boiler has been removed from the frames and detubed.  A boiler inspection has revealed the probable need of a new front tubeplate and the definite need of a new inner firebox with consequent restaying and a new foundation ring.  It is estimated that a further £20,000 is needed to put the boiler into a steamable condition.  The wheels have been sent to Swindon for tyres and bosses to be turned.  New side tanks are required.  Springs are being re-tensioned.  Loose horn guide bolts have been replaced.  Much platework is being replaced and a new bunker is virtually complete.  The frames have been needle gunned and received two coats of paint, new footplating is being fitted to the frames.

Eccentric straps, big end straps, connecting rods and valve roads have been cleaned, checked and are ready for re-fitting.  More news in future issues.

From the Museum

On Tuesday April 14th we suffered yet another break-in at Chasewater.  This time it was the LNWR 50 ft brake coach which was the subject of the robber’s intensions.. Having failed to gain access through the end door nearest the waiting room, and the lock refusing to give way on the normal entrance door used, the miscreant managed, presumably at some length, to chop his way with a pickaxe through one of the double doors on the platform side.  A quantity of railway rule books and the entire collection of some 160 odd LNWR postcards was taken plus a few other books and sundry items.

The following week saw the return of some items following a visit by Ralph Amos to a second-hand bookshop in Walsall which some of the books had been sold to by the criminal.  Unfortunately some pieces had already been sold by the shop owner who was unaware that he was dealing with stolen goods.

Latest news is that the police have picked up a Walsall man who confessed to the crime, amongst others as one might suspect.

There is some good news to report.  There is now an annex to the museum coach in the form of the recently restored ex Midland Railway circa 1880 four-wheel passenger brake which sees a display of railway prints, etc. on Open Days.  A selection of Chas. Butterworth’s very fine drawings was displayed therein on April 26th at the Railwayana Fayre.

Additions to the collection include official postcards of the LNWR, GNR, L & Y, Furness Railway and cards from the following railways which are all new to the collection.  Corris, Cambrian, LNWR and LYR Joint, GCR, NER, SECR, LSWR, Metropolitan Railway and Douglas Southern Electric Tramway.  Other nice additions are a ticket from pre-preservation days of the Talyllyn Railway and an LNWR ‘Birmingham’ dinner fork, courtesy of Rob Duffill.

106 Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces – Autumn 1985 – 2

106 Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces – Autumn 1985 – 2

 News from the line

Mention should be made here that Brian Hames has been forced to resign as General Manager due to McGregor’s decision to redeploy him at Point of Ayr, following the closure of West Cannock No.5.  (Mr. McGregor was the Chairman of the National Coal Board at the time!). Grateful thanks are due to young Brian for services rendered and his successor is Tony Sale (formerly Assistant GM) and the new Assistant GM is Nigel Canning.

Loco News

I’ve tried to remember the numbering system of the locos but failed – miserably.  I have to keep going back through the mags to find them – enough is enough I say!!

The Hibberd diesel is still for sale at a very reasonable price.

Barclay 1223 – all the superstructure of the loco in undercoat, attention has reverted to the boiler and firebox.  The front tube plate is being built up with weld whilst the eighteen stays that were unsuccessfully inserted in the firebox, as mentioned in the last issue, are in the process of being removed in an attempt to straighten the buckled walls of the inner firebox.  The man says ‘this is in fact, proving quite easy’ 

The boiler inspector has been and wants a 9” square piece of the outer firebox to be cut out to investigate the extent of a small crack which has been welded over during a previous overhaul.

Brighter news about Asbestos, rapidly coming to the end of her prolonged overhaul with a return to steam being a matter of weeks rather than months away.

The new GM has been hard at work reassembling the boiler backhead fittings, all attached with new studs, whilst the Fat Controller has been making various bits and pieces which have needed replacement.  The outside motion is being reassembled to find someone a job to keep him off the streets.  During one of the Hairy Youths infrequent visits various pieces of the machine believed to be lost were rediscovered whilst several pieces believed to be ‘in the shed’ were not, so replacements will have to be made.

The Boiler inspector has been and performed an ultra-sonic test to his satisfaction and is returning for a steam test prior to Gricers’ day.

On Sentinel, the Fat Controller has busied himself making good various faults found during the January steam test, and has also painted the beast in an attractive black undercoat after much rust treatment and filling.  A coat of gloss black is to be applied before Gricers’ day.  The Boiler Inspector has been and carried out an ultra-sonic test and having been satisfied he will return for a steam test shortly.  He has also decreed that the boiler needs to be split every five years, not every 14 months as previously feared.

The Controller has carried out his threat of giving the beast a pseudo British Railways identity and has constructed a jolly fine smokebox number plate No.59632.

As yet nobody has had the heart to tell him that vertical boilered Sentinels don’t have smoke boxes!Work on Peckett 917 proceeds as other commitments allow.  The new cabside and the rest of the cab have received several coats of paint whilst the component parts of the new bunker await fitting.  Several men have been seen struggling to excavate layers of fire brick out of the smokebox in order to expose the front tube plate to the eyes of the Boiler Inspector.  Not a wise move as the tube plate appears to be somewhat bulged.  Following further descaling work the Boiler Inspector will return to pass sentence.

The GM has made his first major decision which is that S100 is to be moved into the shed as soon as possible – a sign perhaps of old age creeping up on him?  To speed this process up the loco will be re-wheeled as an 0-4-0 i.e. only two axles will be re-fitted out of doors, the third one will be done under cover.  The owner is at present wrestling with the task of fitting and securing the new main bearings into the axle boxes.

The Other Gentleman made a start on removing the tubes from the Neilson as a mid-summer madness wager that if they were all gone by the end of July then a certain bearded person would purchase a new set!  It is now the end of August and many tubes remain to be removed as those concerned are busy on ‘Asbestos’………Will the offer still hold……. Will the ancient Neilson steam again?  ………………Who knows? …………Watch this space!   Late note; yes the offer does still hold!

Coaching Stock News

In between making cups of tea, Mr. Bull and his crew have been busy repainting and varnishing the interiors of both the Wickham cars in preparation for Gricers’ Day.  As ever, more help is needed as several panes of glass need replacing and seats and tables need to be secured to the floor, however, the work done so far is a definite improvement.

Task Force

Still not happy bunnies!  Nuff said!

Company News

Working on the precept that no news is good news it would seem that the Company is doing just fine.

Well informed sources indicate that the overdraft has virtually disappeared (along with several of the Directors!) but shouldn’t there be an AGM (or three) due?

An unusual piece to end with…

Steam Hauled Sunday Dinner

As an experiment a steam hauled ‘Sunday Dinner’ train will be run on Sunday, 17th November.

In conjunction with the Rob Duffill Catering Corps a steam hauled train will depart from Brownhills West and at the current end of the line a roast chicken dinner will be served in the Wickham Buffet aka ‘The Norton Nasher’.  This is open to members only and is a trial run to see if such a service will be feasible when public services resume.

Would-be guinea pigs should contact Barry Bull as places are strictly limited to twenty.  Remember only working members can travel on CLR trains until the Light Railway Order is granted

N.B. It is expected that all participants will be prepared to spend the rest of the afternoon working so come prepared!

102 Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces – Spring 1985 – 1

102 Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces – Spring 1985 – 1

After the last post’s slightly more optimistic outlook it seems to have slipped backward – oh dear!

Editor’s Notes – Ian Patterson

Much of what follows is of a depressing nature but there is little point in glossing over the severe handicaps that we face at the current time, and perhaps it will spur one or two to take an active part in what should, when all is said and done, be a pleasurable hobby.

Chasewater Comment

This issue’s writer is Barry Bull, Hon.Sec. of the CLRS and a member for 16 years.

When I was asked by H.Y. the ‘Managing Director’ of ‘Chasewater News’ to write this piece I was hoping to write in a more light-hearted vein than of late.

However, those of us committed to the cause of operating a railway and associated museum seem to have been dealt one body blow after another by a series of events over which we have little or no control.  The worst aspect, since the closing of the railway for passenger services in October, 1982 has been the way we have been left open to the vagaries of West Midlands County Council and their Task Force Programme.  Despite the valiant efforts of John Selway the expected successes of the Task Force Programme have not materialised,

Whatever feelings we may have as regards the work actually completed on site the main problem has been behind the scenes at County Hall.  You will have read in the last issue of Chasewater News of the intention of WMCC to reconstruct the platform drainage at Brownhills West and Stadium Halt (which was a possible halt opposite Willow Vale Nursery), fencing of the line and associated crossing gates – all to be finished by Christmas (we presumed 1984!).  Well, as those of us who attend Chasewater on a regular basis will know, none of this happened.

I’m afraid that this report went on for another three or four paragraphs all very similar, with tales of vandals, metal thieves and arsonists at all the organisations using Chasewater.

Loco News

No.1  Hibberd Diesel  The AGM in October agreed to sell this loco as it is surplus to requirements and it has duly been advertised.  Further developments are awaited.

No.2  Peckett 1351  This engine stands next to the shed door with a hopeful look on its face/smokebox.  Does its owner still realise that he owns it?

No.3  Barclay 1223  The restoration of this loco has suffered a setback as, when the new stays were riveted up, the inner firebox walls buckled around the stayheads.  The Boiler Inspector’s verdict is awaited with trepidation as he is unlikely to pass the repair, insertion of copper patches or even a new inner firebox may be the answer.

Despite this the new cab, bunkers and footplating are being installed, and jolly fine they look too!

No.4  Asbestos  Since the last set of notes great strides have been made with the restoration of ‘Asbestos’.  After much bickering the worst of the cladding sheets were replaced  with new material, generously donated by a member.

Once these had been cut to size they were fitted following lagging of the boiler with new hygienic fibreglass cladding.  The following week the tank was refitted and for the first time in some eight years ‘Asbestos’ looks like a complete steam engine.

Much work remains to be done, however, but refitting of the regulator and cleaning up of backhead fitting faces is underway.

No.5  Sentinel  The Sentinel was first steam tested on November 25th (having had the dubious honour of being the first loco to steam at Chasewater since ‘Invicta’ on 16th October, 1982).  Following this, minor adjustments were made and a second steam test followed on 6th January though a shortage of coal hampered its steaming capabilities on this occasion.  Further minor adjustments are being made whilst a new grate is on its way.  Vandal-proof shutters have been fitted to enable the loco to be left outside without fear of fittings being stolen.

During the spring the Fat Controller (for it is he that owns the beast) plans to repaint the loco in a pseudo BR black livery with large yellow numbers as No.59632 (there’s no accounting for taste, is there?)

It is planned to steam the Sentinel at regular intervals on works train duties to enable much needed maintenance to be done on the Ruston diesel No.7.No.6  Peckett 917  Slow progress is at present being made on this loco with  the installation of a new cab side and front with a new bunker to follow.  However, with the end in sight on ‘Asbestos’ progress should speed up during the year and thoughts are turning towards repairing the water tank rather than a wholesale replacement.

No.7  Ruston diesel DL7  As mentioned above, the big Ruston requires a fair amount of maintenance to make it a more reliable machine.  This will be done as soon as there is space in the shed for it.  Meanwhile, a search is on for equipment to fit the loco with vacuum brakes.

No.8  Invicta  Invicta stands outside the shed minus cab fittings – removed for safety’s sake, and whilst being nominally serviceable it is unlikely to steam this year.S100 Frame & Wheels

No.10  Hudswell Clarke S100  The new main bearing have been machined and the axle box horn faces have been trued.  Re-wheeling will soon become a priority as it needs to be moved to enable track work alterations to be done at Brownhills West.

No.11  Alfred Paget  The ancient Neilson awaits attention – new tubes and water tank repairs, but sadly it is impossible to say when this will begin.No.15  Hudswell Clarke 431  The big news is that the chimney has fallen off.  Thankfully, the AGM refused to give the committee authority to dispose of this fine machine and, hopefully, plans for its restoration can be formulated soon. (nobody has defined ‘soon’!)

It is perhaps relevant to ask what will be the loco department’s next project as within the next 12 – 18 months locos Nos. 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and possibly 10 are likely to be ready for use.  Are we really going to need 7 locomotives to pull two coaches over a three quarter mile of track?  ( No.3 took about 20 years to steam and Nos. 6 and10 still haven’t!  No.8 ‘Invicta’ left for pastures new in between times).

101 Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces – 1984 – 2

101 Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces – 1984 – 2

Loco News

Now that we have a new numbering system, it goes into operation.  I shall use the numbers but not ask you to refer to the previous post – I’ve got the numbers and locos on the page in front of me – you haven’t!

No. 3  Barclay 1223  Since a change of ownership last October the engine has been completely dismantled above the frames, and the boiler and firebox have been examined by the Boiler Inspector.  Members of long standing may recall that this loco’s boiler was virtually condemned some 15 years ago and has stood idle ever since.  We must now be in a more enlightened age as, apart from replacement of some 18 firebox stays and welding a small patch on the firebox side and renewal of several smokebox tubeplate rivets, the Boiler Inspector is quite happy for the boiler to be returned to steam.  Much of the platework of the loco has been replaced with new – I.E cab, bunkers, footplating and a new smokebox has been fabricated.

A new set of boiler tubes has arrived and those responsible for the loco hope to see it in steam in early 1985 – they must be confident as they’re looking for another loco!

No. 4  Asbestos  Following a successful hydraulic test the boiler has at last been reunited with the frames, for the first time in six years.  Despite the misguided belief that interest (work) would speed up following refitting of the boiler – this has not yet happened, putting a 1984 steaming in considerable doubt at the time of writing (mid-July)

Despite this, slow progress is being made by one man (without dog!) in assembling a useable set of cladding sheets from the mangy set of originals.  Also the cab fittings have been overhauled off-site.

No. 5  Sentinel  Since the last report the boiler has passed its visual test and following reassembly was hydraulically tested.  On testing the superheater several holes were found, the only remedy being replacement.  Without too much difficulty a firm was found who could manufacture a new one and this was duly ordered and delivered – at considerable expense to the owner!

The boiler duly passed its hydraulic test as did the new superheater.  Reassembly is well under way with many components being replaced at the same time.

The owner expects to steam the loco later this year and run trials with it to ascertain its suitability for passenger work before considering fitting vacuum brakes.

No. 6  Peckett 917  Slow progress has been made on this loco, recent work being confined to stripping and painting the cab and removal of fire bricks out of the smokebox to reveal a somewhat wasted tube plate.  Work should speed up when ‘Asbestos’ (wot – no number?!) is finished.

No.10  Hudswell Clarke 1822 (S 100) First the bad news – during the winter we suffered a spate of break-ins which resulted in the loss of the main bearing brasses as well as a complete set of new ones.  Now the good news – the wheelsets have been sent to Bridgnorth for tyre and journal turning and have returned ready for refitting, the axle boxes which will shortly be sporting new main bearings which are being supplied at a good competitive rate.

Whilst this was going on, the owner overhauled the lathe and miller in the loco shed and is now using them to true the horn faces on the axle boxes.

All being well, the frames should be reunited with the wheels before the end of the year, enabling further reassembly to take place under cover.

Following a request from the Honourable Secretary to reintroduce a system of credits for work done, here goes…….

Barclay 1223 – Les, Gorilla and friends.  New cab and bunkers – Comex Workshop, Walsall.  New Smokebox – Angle Ring Co. Ltd.  New boiler tubes – Charlie from Embsay via Newmans Tubes Ltd., Wednesbury.

Asbestos  Boiler – Tony and Brian.  Cladding – HY.  Cab fittings – PCK

Sentinel – Mr. K9

Peckett 917  Les and kids, young Pete and the Wossacks.

Hudswell Clarke S100  Axle brasses – Wednesbury Foundry Training School.  Lathe and Miller – Mr. Sale.  Wheel Turning – Severn Valley Railway.

Loco Numbers  HY.

Black Paint  (Someone has been working on the principle that if it’s stationary and rusty – paint it black!)  Assorted young kids and men with beards!

 Task Force

The new siding mentioned in the last magazine was subsequently found to be unnecessary and consequently was not built.

The Task Force then turned their attention to putting the southern point in for the Brownhills West run round, however, following a survey of the line by West Midlands County Council Surveyor’s Department, further work was suspended until the proposed track plans and gradient profiles were approved by the Railway Inspectorate.  As a result, Brownhills West still looks as though a bomb has hit it, though in recent weeks some Task Force workers have returned and started slowly demolishing what remains of the platform in preparation for its long awaited rebuild.  Despite this apparent lack of progress we have been assured that all the work – reconstruction of platform, drainage of Brownhills West, run round loops at Brownhills West and Stadium Halt (?), fencing of the line and associated crossing gates will be finished by Christmas (one presumes 1984!)

If this is so then services can be resumed following inspection by HM Railway Inspectorate.

 Track Work

During the lull in Task Force activities a hastily formed track gang relaid the point leading to the loco shed some 45 feet nearer to Brownhills West to give a longer siding and also ease the alignment which was somewhat tight.  This was achieved within a matter of two months, much credit going to Mr. K9, a man with a beard and a (semi) tame Gorilla who performed Herculean feats of strength (some may call it stupidity) in moving large pieces of point and many concrete sleepers in preparation for Sunday working parties.

Chasewater Light Railway Company Notes

Since the end of the YOP Scheme the Company has slowly sorted out its finances to such a degree that it knows to whom it owes what amounts of money.  The two creditors are:

1.    The Overdraft Facility taken out at Barclays Bank.

2.    Money overspent on the YPO Scheme and owed to the Manpower Services Commission.

To ease matters the Society took stock of its assets and was able to identify several items which were not imperative to keep the CLR project a viable proposition.  To this end it was agreed in a series of General Meetings to dispose of:

1.    Andrew Barclay Saddle Tank 1223

2.    Sentinel Loco 9632

3.    LNWR TPO coach

4.    LNWR brake coach (Paddy Coach).

Of these items, the first three have been sold with only the TPO going off-site, whilst a deal to sell the ‘Paddy’ has fallen through, though hopefully a new purchaser can be found.  Despite the resulting influx of money, the Company still has a sizeable overdraft to pay off, which will hinder any future plans for expansion until it is eradicated.  At present the Company has only three forms of income:

1.    Donations from the Society

2.    Sale of Shares

3.    Sale of Shares in DL7

Museum Notes

The only notable acquisition of late has been a wooden shield presented by the LMS to Trent Valley Station following three successive victories in the station gardens competition, 1924 – 1926

100 Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces – 1984 – 1

100 Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces – 1984 – 1

Chasewater News – Editorial

 The Society is approaching its 25th Anniversary which will be celebrated at the Society AGM on 13th October and at a Bus Rally and Railwayana Fair at Chasewater on the following day (October 14th) 11.00 – 4.30, admission free.

Throughout its 25 years the Society’s membership has fluctuated around the 100 mark whilst its aims have switched from creating a static museum to an operating railway.  Despite the lack of passenger trains during the last two seasons the Society membership has held its own and so far this year over 15 new members have been enrolled.  To these people we say thank you for having faith in the Chasewater Project.  Inside this magazine you will find a membership form and we are appealing for every member to enrol a new member to give us enough people to operate trains next season (as we are led to believe that we will be in a position to do so).

Members may have read elsewhere about plans to spend up to 14 million pounds on Chasewater Park and the Society/Company have drawn up plans to expand the Railway, should this scheme come to fruition.  All this is dependent on us having enough manpower to run services on a regular basis so it is up to the present membership to either come forward and operate the services or to find new members to do the same.  Members may also have read of a scheme to build a new motorway which may or may not pass through the park.  If it does come through the park then we are wasting our time.

News from the line

Loco Department – It has for sometime been felt that there ought to be a numbering system for locos at Chasewater in order to give a proper Light Railway image.

A start was made some years ago when ‘Invicta’ emerged from a repaint sporting a painted No.8 (it was then the eighth steam engine on site) on the front buffer beam and brass plates (GWR style) on the cab sides.

The following system has been devised and will be put into practise as engines are repainted, although the GWR style plates on ‘Invicta’ will not be featured on other locos as brass plates with the loco number and the legend ‘Chasewater Light Railway’ have been designed.  Some locos will also bear fictitious 21G shed plates as the Operating Superintendent reckons 21G would have been the shed code for Brownhills West (Hednesford Road) had it existed in BR days.

Loco                                                          No.

Hibberd Diesel                                 1                 First loco to arrive


Peckett 1351                                    2                  No. 2 at Wallsend Slipway

Barclay 1223                                   3

Asbestos                                            4

Sentinel 9632                                   5                 May be painted black as BR 59632

Peckett 917                                       6

R & H Diesel                                       7                 No.7 at Whitwell Colliery

Invicta                                                    8

Hudswell Clarke 1822                     10

Alfred Paget                                         11               No.11 at Gartsherrie

Hudswell Clarke 431                       15

Ex bass Diesel                                     21

L & Y Petrol                                            1

It seems strange to have two No.1s when starting a new system, even if they didn’t stay much longer!

93 Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces Autumn 1979 – 2

93 Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces Autumn 1979 – 2

Loco Department

As it’s the end of a decade, a complete rundown of locos is given.

Invicta’  AB 2220/1946The loco was kept in reserve at the start of the season and was not steamed until June 10th and then chose to run hot!  As there was only two weeks to go before Transport Scene there was much gloom and despondency around as well as a fair amount of bickering.

The offending bearing was the rear driver’s side axle box and this was duly removed following sterling work by those stout fellows Messrs. Hames and Luker.  Inspection of said bearing revealed the cause of the trouble.  It was a well known fact that during her latter years at Chatham, ‘Invicta’ had been fitted with a brand new rear axle and someone had obviously forgotten to cut oil grooves in the bearing brass, leaving only two small holes to lubricate the axle – not very good – especially as one had got blocked leading to overheating so bad as to actually melt the bearing surface.

Swift alterations to the bearing saw the loco back in service within four hours and the loco has performed without trouble ever since.

‘Invicta’ is undoubtedly the loco to be used at the start of the 1980 season, following the annual boiler test.

‘Alfred Paget’ N 2937/1882The ancient Neilson has performed without trouble all season and is now awaiting its hydraulic test, after Christmas, which will entail the removal of the saddle tank and boiler lagging and cladding.  As its firebox has overcome its leakage problems it would seem probable that the boiler test will be passed without too much trouble.  The opportunity will be taken for a thorough repaint and perhaps even new boiler cladding sheets will be provided to replace the current motley collection.  There is every confidence of the loco working next season – the loco’s 98th year in fact.

‘Asbestos’ HL 2780/1909This loco has been the centre of great activity this year with up to seven people working on it at one time – unheard of before!.

The loco is completely dismantled and a thorough mechanical and cosmetic job is being done to ensure trouble-free running when it resumes earning its keep.

The boiler was lifted out of the frames in June and was finally despatched to Park Holland Ltd. of Hanley on August 12th.  It now seems as though the firebox repairs will be of the welding and riveting kind rather than uplifting of the foundation ring, following a further examination by our tame boiler inspector.  The boiler is said to be ready around Christmas time which will ensure plenty of work in the New Year.

Following the removal of the boiler the motion was completely taken down, followed by jacking the frames clear of the wheels to enable the wheels to be rolled out.  Removal of the wheels has enabled a thorough paint job to be done on the frames, at present five coats have been applied with at least one more to follow.  To enable all members to feel part of the restoration team a couple of carriage and wagon tappers were roped in for a paint session (only undercoats of course!) though with the onset of stormy weather they have been despatched back to their rightful place fending off the bitter easterly winds off the workshop area.

Removal of the wheels will enable tyre turning to take place, probably at Bridgnorth.  The valves and motion have had attention with reassembly following, as far as the lack of wheels will allow anyway!  Whilst Brian has been busy machining the regulator valve to allow greater use of the steam produced.  All concerned with the restoration of the loco are confident of seeing it in steam next year.

‘The Colonel’ P 1341/1914The hydraulic test was passed in July, followed by refitting of the boiler cladding and lagging since when not much has been done save for the two Bobs (and others) finishing off the new coal bunker which looks rather fine.  Providing the tank can be repaired the loco should see service next year.

‘Peckett’ 917/1902No work has been done on this loco apart from routine preservative maintenance, but the situation should change once ‘Asbestos’ is back in traffic, as it is the next loco due for ‘works’ treatment.

Hudswell Clarke 431/1895Following a relatively ‘light job’ on Peckett 917 the ‘old Hudswell’ should get the full treatment though this is probably a good 18 months away at the moment. (32 years and counting!)

Andrew Barclay 1223/1911

This loco is in a presentable state at the moment but needs heavy boiler and firebox repairs before it can steam again – pity as the mechanics are in first-class condition.

’S100’ HC 1822/1949

The loco migrated into the compound and the boiler received a coat of paint, since when nothing, – where are you, Tony?

DL7 (RH 458641/1961)Once the loco was cajoled into action after removal to Chasewater it has proved to be a fine acquisition and it is to be hoped that the CLR Co. will have sufficient funds to buy it off the STEPS scheme.

Apart from working 5 days a week it has proved its worth on shunting duties on steam days, as well as hauling a couple of passenger trains on Gricers’ Day.  Once its future is secure the NCB green will disappear under a coat of CLR livery of some colour or another.

Others

Of the two Bass-Worthington diesels, No.21 sees occasional use whilst No.20 is rumoured to be going off on loan to the Bass Museum, Burton-on-Trent, which will be a useful advert for the Railway and give us a bit of room.(It went and is still there, 2011)

The two No.1s are performing sterling work as a stop block on ‘Three Road’ whilst various people mutter darkly about getting them going again.

Whilst on the subject of infernal combustion it must be mentioned that Bob Curtis has offered to paint No.21 as the Society is 21 years old next year.  Well done that man.

Carriage & Wagon Department

He DMU trailer coach has performed well as usual but the paintwork is now in need of some touching up, especially around the windows – so hopefully this will be done before it gets worse as, having seen similar coaches on a North Yorkshire Moorland Railway, it wouldn’t be advisable to wait too long.

Messrs. Pearson and Curtis have been busy painting the ex LNWR TPO and nailing panels back onto the Maryport and Carlisle coach.  We are hoping they will move onto the LNWR full brake after finishing the TPO as the paint is fast peeling off.

John Elsley is busy rebuilding the fire-damaged brake end of the ex MSL six-wheeler and it is looking better with every panel.  The only other item to receive attention has been the Great Western brake van which should get repainted during the New Year, following some welding to the platework which is rather thin in places.

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 83 – a new arrival at Chasewater

A new arrival at Chasewater

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 83

Chasewater News 23 March 1978- Part 2

The first of two new arrivals at Chasewater was a 12” cylindered Peckett 0-4-0ST (no.917 of 1902).  This engine is being placed on permanent loan to the Society by Messrs. Albright & Wilson Ltd., who are one of the largest chemical manufacturers in the British Isles.  The locomotive is at present at their works at Oldbury and is believed to be in working order.  As well as being the oldest working four-wheeled Peckett in Great Britain it is also the last steam locomotive to see industrial service within the West Midlands Metropolitan County and it is therefore appropriate that it should be ‘retired’ to work on the only preserved steam railway within the West Midlands.  The loco should be an interesting and useful engine for use at Chasewater and it will arrive as soon as a suitable legal loan agreement has been drawn up.  Grateful thanks are due to Barry bull for writing after the engine and to Albright & Wilson for entrusting the Society with their locomotive,

Further details will appear once the loco is at Chasewater.

From the Chasewater News 24, July 1978The legal loan agreement has been completed and the engine should arrive during August.

From the ‘Gricers’ Day’ report, 8th October, 1978.

Through the kindness of the Directors of Albright & Wilson Ltd., Peckett 0-4-0ST works no. 917 of 1902 arrived on permanent loan together with coal, 27 spare boiler tubes and various tools.From the Chasewater News 25, November 1978.

Since its arrival the loco has been cleaned and the boiler and tank have been drained.  It seems as though some work will have to be done upon the motion of the loco, (which is very loose in places) as well as the major boiler hydraulic test, before it is steam tested.  It also requires repairs to the tank and will have to be fitted with a steam brake before working passenger trains.  Despite all this one is quietly confident of seeing it in steam at some stage next season. (This was in 1978 and sadly it still hasn’t steamed in 2011, and is well towards the rear of the restoration queue, although it is now in the Heritage Centre workshop).June 2010