Monday, 18 April 2016

Progress Report - Spring Mixed Traction Weekend

Nothing short of a fantastic weekend!

The mixed traction weekend early in the season was a bit of a venture but really did pay off perhaps not completely weather-wise however the rain managed to stay away just slightly chilly!

On the Saturday train loadings were good and all trains ran to the timetable with only Ullr deciding to cause an issue when it failed before its first path with a battery issue; this was swiftly resolved converting it back to hand crank allowing the locomotive to complete its paths for the rest of the day. One seven header was ran as the weather closed in and made track conditions too risky to try and run the half past four service.

The Sunday was a much better day weather-wise with more sunshine albeit with a foggy start. After team discussion for the day and Ullr was started (quite a lengthy process on a cold morning!) the train services started, kicking off with Greenbat on the first run swiftly followed by ZM32 on the goods. Today both seven headers ran with great enthusiasm and enjoyment from the team of drivers piloting these two services.

Thanks has to go to all the staff who made the weekend happen, from planners to drivers and guards to shunters! Well done to everyone!

Monday, 4 April 2016

Progress Report - Sunday 3rd April

Just a week after Easter and we are already fully prepared for our next event next weekend on the 9th and 10th of April; The SPRING MIXED TRACTION GALA!

With this in mind the Traction Department had a lot planned for today however Ullr had other ideas! On routine inspection it was discovered that one of the bearings in the axle had collapsed which rendered the locomotive out of action; it was swiftly moved to the workshop where it was lifted and the axle box removed from the axle. On further inspection of the bearing on the other side it was thought that bearing may be similar to that used on 1881, the locomotive sat on the plinth by the station area. After removing that bearing it was exactly the same, a relief for the team, it was cleaned out, examined and then greased and fitted. Thankfully this allows the locomotive to run next weekend at the traction gala.

Inside the new building trim was being fitted to the panelling recently installed over Easter to finish off the joins between the panels. Also the timber for the workbench was cut and further fitted together allowing for the sturdy bench to be used once the top has been delivered to site.

Alongside all of this the service train was operating with healthy passenger numbers enjoying the warmth of the sunshine!


New Workbench support structure

Progress Report - Easter!

Our first event over with for the year which marked our start of the 2016 operational season. This kicked off with normal services handled by our resident stalwarts ZM32, Greenbat, Peggy and Peter.

In the new building over the weekend the interior was coming on really well, it was decided to install panelling in order to allow for better insulation and also something to mount socket banks and racking to. This is now complete and also painted meaning that further work on the electrics of the building which includes the lights can be completed.

In the Traction and Rolling Stock Department Ullr was in for painting of the buffer beams and also the manufacturing and fitting of a battery box in the cab to stop water ingress onto the tops of the batteries which could cause major damage to them. Hudson was also brought down for pre-gala maintenance which included adjusting the fuel mixture to allow it to run smoother and also maintain a tick over speed easily.

Only one week till our gala!

Diesel line up during shunting

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Weekly Progress Report - Sunday 13th March

Today again saw a range of activities going on.

The Permanent Way Team were working on the section of line between Killers Dale Halt and Recreation Ground Station removing a lean on a section of track which had sunk over the course of last season. With this complete they then moved on to packing sleepers on the section to remove the severity of some dipped joints.

In the Motive Power Department Hibberd 4008 had its new air system installed which will allow for through train piping which will be invaluable at the Mixed Traction Gala in Spring and also August. Other tasks completed on the locomotive was the painting of the buffer beams on both ends; these were put into undercoat prior to a top coat being applied. Peter had its battery box placed back on again after new battery box mounting rubbers were applied. Manrider 103 was returned to the Carriage and Wagon Shed now that a locomotive was available to shunt it with.

A test train was run with Manrider 103 to test the new loop form. This was passed as being fit which means that we can move forward to Easter.

 In the new building at Steeplehouse new 110V sockets were installed and wiring run to accommodate these. Also the interior panelling which was cut last week was painted, this only leaves the other side to be painted before they can be fitted to the sides of the building.

Easter is closing in!

Test Train passing the Works Train

Extension taking shape.

Weekly Progress Report - Sunday 6th March

Lots of work in preparation for Easter has been taking place.

On a Permanent Way front as the new embankment has been compacted it has allowed for more panels of track have been laid; three extra panels have been laid to allow for wagon stock to be traversed to the end to dump spoil and ballast. Finishing ballasting of the Lawson's Loop was also completed on this day.

On a Traction and Rolling Stock front Peter was next on the examination list and so was shunted into the workshop and the battery box removed using the crane. Over in the Engine House Manrider 103 was being signed off as fit for traffic as the exam had been completed on that vehicle. Also in the Engine House was Hibberd 4008 which has had its new brake bar fitted and commissioning completed as being signed off as fit for traffic once again; a mere couple of months after first going in for work to be completed.

Work inside the new shed at Steeplehouse has carried on a pace with the electrics nearly finished and ready for certification, the interior panelling was being cut and joined ready for painting before being fitted to the lower partition of the walls.

That's all for now!

Manrider 103 outside the Engine Shed having final checks completed.

Hibberd 4008 on the traverser at Steeplehouse after having the brake bar fitted.

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Progress Report February 11th - 25th

It's all hands to the pump at present to prepare the Railway for the coming season. A general tidy up of Dark Lane area and a reshuffle of stock in the shed to allow the annual checks to commence.

   The permanent Way Team have completed the second side of Lawson's Loop and reconnected the points and levers it just remains to finally pack and adjust before passenger running.

    Annual inspections have been done on ZM with no issues found thankfully and a successful run over the mainline completed. Greenbat had it's battery box removed using the new crane facility which cut the time to approximately 5 minutes and all a lot less effort required. Again no issues found and passed ready for traffic. Work on 'Ullr' 4008 is proceeding with the construction and fitting of a new brake rod and brackets as well as some repainting of the buffer beams. A new tool box has also been fitted in the driver compartment. Manrider 103 has been brought into the engine shed and raised up to allow better access ready for it's pre running checks.

   Work has begun on constructing a rear canopy to the engine shed over the back apron using steelwork salvaged from the old wagon bodies with Keith in charge of the master plan.

  Much activity is being concentrated on our new building at present with the electrical connection completed from the existing supply allowing the roller door to be commissioned. Work fitting the trunking to take the internal wiring has been completed and delivery of the timber for the internal panelling and vice bench ready for cutting.

  Lastly despite it being our closed season on Valentines Day several trains did run as there were customers who had made a special journey to see us although only up as far as Recreation Ground Bridge due to Lawson's Loop being unavailable. It's only a few weeks now until the new season starts over the Easter weekend and we hope to see many of you there weather permitting!

Monday, 8 February 2016

Progress Report - January 31st and February 7th

A double whammy progress report today!

Due to the wet weather on the 31st the team concentrated their efforts on tidying up the workshop in order to allow work to progress quicker and also the engine house was given a spring clean.

The Permanent Way Department has been busily working on Lawson's Loop which now has on line joined up meaning that there is through access to Sandy Lane, now they turn their attention to joining up the point levers and then installing the other side of the loop in time for Easter!

In the Motive Power section the new tie bar for the brake rigging on Hibberd 4008 is progressing well, this is to replace the existing bar which isn't sturdy enough for the task its asked to do. Elsewhere on the locomotive the brakes were correctly setup to match the wheel sets which appeared incorrect when they were completed the first time. ZM32 was also run up last Sunday for a quick running check and also to move it across to the next line to allow the examination to start.

That's all for now!

Lawson's Loop mid progress

ZM32 on the back apron

ULLR on the traverser