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 trip to Sainsbury's

9th June 2013

In lieu of his lost weekend time, Andrew had arranged to take Monday off, which as it turned out was a good thing as sleep deprivation meant that he didn't even stagger out of bed till late morning and Plan A, to whit head over to Scunthorpe, was out of the question. Meanwhile I found an e-mail telling me that Peak Rail were ready to sign the formal agreement over the use of Darley Dale yard, so we re-arranged a short session at Rowsley followed by a trip to Matlock for a meeting.

Of another trip to Sainsbury's

16th June 2013

Andrew had Monday off again, and after popping in to the Peak Rail office at Matlock, where I provisionally agreed that 14 901 would do a trial passenger run on Wednesday afternoon, we headed in to Rowsley to investigate where this fuel leak was coming from. Between the vee of the two banks, where the fuel pump sits, it was awash in diesel and we deduced that one of the fuel hoses, which I made c.2008, was leaking. But in any event the header tank, which is mounted on a tube above the engine, needs to come off for a crack in the mount to be re-secured. So far, so good.

Of brackets and buffers

12th May 2013

So, when I left off last week it was with Bank Holiday Monday in prospect, and we headed back to Rowsley for a "light" day. While Andrew pottered about clearing James' cab, I decided I had better press on with the additional wires needed to run the fan motor on 14 901. But before I got too far in, I was called over to assist Andrew in recovering the fan motor from D9500, which was to head to the repairers as another possible candidate for fixing. Mind you, with D9500 having last run c. 1988 we were less than optimistic about its condition, especially as the fan's top cover was missing and so the retaining bolt on the top was corroded.

Of brake linkages and filters

26th May 2013

Apart from a run to the profilers, we have kept in touch with the hydraulics company in Sheffield and towards the end of the week I was able to collect the repaired fan motor ex D9500. A chance comment averted a crisis - we had thought the ports in the motor were 3/4 BSP, but learned they were in fact a metric thread virtually the same OD but different pitch. Fortunately they had fittings in stock and quickly converted one in to a hydraulic coned fitting which we required for our new hose, sat in the loco waiting.

Of fans

2nd June 2013

Well of course last Monday was a Bank Holiday and so we went back to Rowsley, this time armed with another drum of 15w/40 for the fan system on 14 901. It only took a little more to bring the oil levels into the inspection windows on the side of the reservoir and, with some trepidation, and after Andrew had bled the pump through (the last shutdown, in April, had been by shutting the cock on the delivery pipe) we fired 14 901 up again. After a few seconds of prevarication it condescended to fire, but hunted somewhat until Andrew had a further go at bleeding the pump (which, being a hydraulically governed one, can be a swine if any air gets trapped in it).

Of flaws and floors

23rd June 2013

We were back in to Rowsley on Monday night. While I did some measurings for a new cross-shaft on the Drewry, Andrew and Rob made some highly satisfactory bangs and crashes as the Whiting jacks, having been offered for sale through Andrew's website with no interest, were loaded gently into a brand new, bright red scrap skip to go to Mr Booth's emporium. The main issue of the mid week has been the turbo off 14 901, but I am pleased to say that this has been quickly and satisfactorily resolved and we should see it back (and restored to health) in a few days.

Of impeccable timing

5th May 2013

I usually say that on Bank Holiday weekends I will leave the blog until Monday, but then by the time Sunday night comes around I am convinced that to postpone it another 24 hours will only result in my forgetting what it was we were doing. So here we are again, and already it's 3 days on the trot and still one to go.

Of Teddy Bears and cross links

30th June 2013

If Andrew had been paying me for the time spent on his behalf this week I would be a wealthy man. For amongst the hours spent back at Briddon Towers, furiously painting (my shoes now have so many paint blobs on them that they match the mottled non-slip flooring at my dentists - I think this non-drip paint is wonderful) I have been chasing to and fro getting bits organised and generally being in the wrong place at the right time.

Of the return of an old friend

19th May 2013

We have been in regular touch with the firm in Sheffield who are custodians of the 3 fan motors this week. With all due irony, the motor from D9500 is undoubtedly the best of the 3, and other than adding a "Speedisleeve" and replacing various seals and rings, having drilled out the corroded fixing bolts, the motor was in comparatively good order. But it has not been completed this week and so no progress can be reported on '901, more's the pity.

Of best laid plans

14th April 2013

There have been various suggestions as to what to call this week's blog. "Of a rubbish/cr*p/(similar adjective) day" have been the most common proposals, but let me take you through in stages to the climax.

Of departing vans and hydraulic fans

21st April 2013

We had little enough time to lick our wounds this week. On Tuesday we were due to load the Palvan at Scunthorpe and the new owner had asked Andrew to set up the transport. Heanors had been booked, with one of their folding neck trailers where the rails are not only in the deck but across the neck as well. We have used these trailers before, and they're OK up to about 30tons, so the 8ton box van was easy.

Of half-over pits and fan bits

28th April 2013

After tripping the radiator tubes in to that nice Mr Booth's yard on Tuesday, I went in to my usual hydraulics supplier to see about getting the fan motor from 14 901 repaired, but he was up to his neck in work and suggested a firm I have not used before. So off I went across Sheffield and left it with them, hopefully we should see it back early in May. Later in the week I spent some on the phone and internet talking to structural engineers regarding their costs for determining our requirements for concrete at the new shed and providing the calculations that Building Control will require.

Of a roof over our heads (part 1)

9th April 2013

There has been, I must confess, a story going on in the background that has not previously featured in this bog, by agreement between Andrew and myself that it would not do so until a particular landmark was achieved. Originally I was going to slip this in as an extra long weekly entry, but Andrew pointed out that as this covers events that have been going on for over 18 months, it deserves a post of its own.


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