Weekend Rails

what we do for our kids

Tales of the Andrew Briddon Loco collection

Elsewhere - www.andrewbriddonlocos.co.uk - you can see the "official" face of the locomotive collection my son has built up. Here on "Weekend Rails" you can read a blow-by-blow account of our work in restoring and improving them.

Of a snowy, steamy Sunday

10th March 2013

After the exertions of last week, I am pleased that this week has been a little less demanding. Indeed, as Andrew was away with partner and their child for the weekend, Steph and I took the van up to our daughter's in Darlington on Saturday, taking up a wheelbarrow and a piano stool and returning with a vacuum cleaner and a wardrobe - not a bad swap really.

Of belts and bases

31st March 2013

I'm getting a bit confused this week. It wasn't just all this snow fall that has come down merely a week before Easter, but with our daughter and her fiance arriving Thursday night it has felt like the wrong day all weekend. Actually, on Wednesday, having to head that on business, I dropped in to Llanuwchllyn to pick up a 16mm model of mine that I haven't seen for a decade. The railway was getting ready to start the season, and 3 quarry tanks were in steam as the boiler inspector had been there earlier in the day for the annual physical.

Of Charlie's big brother

3rd March 2013

I teased the readers with a hint of something happening this week and aside from those scurrilous souls who suggested that we were acquiring 08s or other such shoddy shunters I think we managed to keep most guessing. (Oh, and for those who don't know our views on 08s and their ilk, see "Of 08s and trawler engines, here - otherwise, read on).

Of hot and cold

24th March 2013

Andrew had the Monday off, in expectation that we would not have hired the vehicle the previous Monday and would do it then instead.. And anyway, after 500 miles the previous day going to see 14 901, he thought we could both do with an "easy" time. He can be so considerate. So we wandered in to Rowsley with the intention of getting "Libby" back into the shed.

Of respect for other people's property

17th March 2013

Having escaped the previous Saturday, I had been roped in to hiring a 3.5ton dropside for a Monday tour of Humberside. Since no local firm had one available, I returned to my old friends in Sheffield and sure enough, the same Y-reg Transit that I have had twice before, with all its old idiosyncrasies (like a speedo that flicks around 10-15mph while you are standing still) and added a new one or two (like the screenwash no longer worked). The purpose of the trip was to continue unloading the Palvan at Scunthorpe, including 3 radiators and the transmission that had failed to work in D2128.

Of friend and family

27th January 2013

This week's edition will be short as Andrew has been with his girlfriend and their son for the weekend and this fitted in nicely with my desire to attend a commemorative service for a good friend that was being held in Oxford on Saturday. I did however spend some time during the week working on alternative schemes for gear change - or perhaps I should say a range change - arrangement for D2128, but nothing as yet that I am happy with on CAD.

Of locos at Scunthorpe

10th February 2013

There have been over two hours of phone calls this week between me, our transmission experts and Twin Disc over in the USA. One of the outcomes is that it may be that our low base pressure on D2128's powershift is the result of the charge pump not delivering sufficient oil. In the manuals we had with the transmission (or to be exact, the manuals that Hunslet supplied with the original locos when they were delivered in 1984) there was no reference to oil delivery rates for the transmission, only acceptable grades.

Of milestones

6th January 2013

There are some events that seem to denote significant stages in your life. Some you have an element of control over - marriage, moving house, jobs - others occur at times outside your control, and serve to remind you of time passing, like the deaths of your parents. Andrew this week contrived to compel a pleasant, but nonetheless involuntary change in our status, when he awarded us the role of grandparents. Needless to say this was not a solo enterprise, nor was it entirely unexpected (though 10 days early) when his partner (whom I see I have not named hitherto and trust no-one will try to interpret this as in any way Freudian) gave birth to their little boy Jake.

Of plans and pressure

3rd February 2013

Those of my readers who like to think of themselves as regular will be aware that the first weekend of the month is generally regarded as the best weekend, where "things go right". It was a pity therefore that the Saturday was taken up with another Class 14 Owners group meeting, where the company was pleasant (people representing D9516, '20, '21, '23, '26, '31, '37 and '55 were there, and good friends amongst them) but when someone starts asking about the rumoured 10 spare Paxman engines that Swindon had for the '14s?

Of proposals and police

20th January 2013

On Monday, as the snow fell, Andrew decided that an early return to the Briddon Country Pile was in order rather than wait for his paternity leave to expire. Having made it safely home it had the added benefit of Tuesday being clear for a bit of "catch-up" loco work so we headed in to Rowsley to continue ministering to "Tom" and await a delivery of 2" pipe from BSS.

Of remote control

13th January 2013

Firstly, my thanks to all readers who have sent messages of congratulations to me or Andrew after reading the news in last week's blog. I am pleased to report that the next generation of the Briddon clan is putting on weight and doing all the things that babies of that age are supposed to do.

Of things that did and didn't arrive

24th February 2013

On Monday I was over at Briddon Towers for the morning but aimed to be back in Derbyshire in time to meet the lorry. I needn't have worried so much, for somehow the postcode for Rowsley directed the wagon's Satnav to somewhere near Mickleover, and by the time the driver had sorted out with me over the phone where he ought to be, he'd run out of hours and had to park up. So finally he arrived in Rowsley late in the afternoon, a 40ft flat trailer with an eight-wheel tractor unit sporting the biggest HIAB-type crane I'd ever seen. We'd lifted the generator set and sundries off when Andrew arrived, having dashed home from work and changed. Off came the casing top from the NB, the 6RPH Paxman was lifted out and secured to the wagon, and the casing top refitted.

Of welding and shunting

17th February 2013

The week seems to have been taken up with a lot of my time dedicated to Andrew. (Actually someone might say, "how unusual"). What with ordering a larger drive pulley to speed up the charge pumps on D2128 (we will be going from 1:1 to around 1:1,56, which means we should be delivering 5 US gallons at idle and when we get bold enough to run the engine at full chat, the pump will be just under its maximum of 3000rpm) we have also managed to get to the MoD at Bicester to view more rolling stock that Ramco are auctioning, and a meeting with Peak Rail's MD.


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