Weekend Rails

what we do for our kids

Sunday, 20 August 2017 22:55

Of broom and Brush


20th August 2017

It's amazing, given the general untidiness and dust prevalent at the Geoffrey Briddon Building, how many brooms we have amassed. Here's a selection, and that isn't even all of them, nor those which have been burnt after I spotted woodworm in them. Quite why they have all found sanctuary here is something of a mystery, but here they are. I suppose it all adds to the quirkiness of our existence.

IMG 3379 blog

Published in 2017 July to September
Sunday, 18 December 2016 17:59

Of Ramps and Edges


18th December 2016

 Xmas16v3

I foresaw two possible scenarios this week. One was that I would be on my way down to the studios and wouldn't get the time to write the blog at all, the other that, for various reasons, there wouldn't be much to write about.  I think my crystal ball wants new batteries.

Published in 2016 Oct-Dec
Sunday, 31 May 2015 01:00

Of Exodus

31 May 15

I picked the title this week and wondered whether to start off with a  “hell fire and brimstone” sermon. You know the sort of thing, you can find it on obscure satellite and cable channels, with some smartly-suited guy sat behind a desk, pronouncing how Man has lost his way and only by following the word of the Lord (or his interpretation of it) in the 'good book' (pick title of yours or his choices) can we redeem ourselves and gain ever-lasting salvation. (And there's a thought, we all know what is meant by the “good book”, but what would we understand to be meant by a  “bad book”?) But then sermons aren't really my style.  Meandering reminiscences, technical dissertations, maybe, but sermonising on Weekend Rails? Hardly.

Published in 2015 Apr-Jun
Sunday, 05 October 2014 01:00

Of water pumps and tacho heads

5th October 2014

There are some firms that are easy to do business with, and others that make you wonder how they stay in business at all. Around two-and-a-half years ago, I was in discussion with a firm – I'll not name them – about repairing and converting a tacho head (for the uninitiated, I mean the bit what goes in the desk and has a needle that indicates how many rpm the engine is doing) to suit a different input speed.

Published in 2014 Oct-Dec
Sunday, 19 May 2013 01:00

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.

Published in 2013 Apr-Jun
Tuesday, 19 June 2012 01:00

Of stripping without the tease

27th November 2011

We should, I suppose, stop being optimistic and try to avoid planning anything significant for the last weekend of the month – and even include Friday. We had a provisional promise – well, OK, that doesn’t make a lot of sense, but he did say “he’d try to…” – that on Wednesday the flat wagon at Scunthorpe, upon which the 03’s casing bits have resided for the last couple of years, would be shunted out from the very far end of the AFRPS’s longest siding and put round the front ready for us to collect and take them back to Sheffield for shotblast.

Published in 2011 Oct-Dec
Tuesday, 19 June 2012 01:00

Of gas and electricity

16th October 2011

Andrew had a day off work this week, and decided to spend an afternoon at Peak Rail on “Libby”. Sadly it was not as productive as he planned, for a substation blew up (apparently quite spectacularly) and took out all the electrics from Matlock to Bakewell. In contrast, he was off to see his girlfriend on Saturday, so enquired “if I had nothing better to do,” whether I might like, weather permitting, to go to Murton and start fitting the oil separator to “Pluto”. I knows my place.

Published in 2011 Oct-Dec
Tuesday, 19 June 2012 01:00

Of Cummins and cancers

4th September 2011

With Andrew on hols, much of this weeks’ instalment revolves around his activities, for reasons which will also come clear.

On Tuesday, as he headed south to Wansford, I departed north to Batley to pick up the latest profiles from my supplier. These included the bracketry for the revamped train brake control for the Drewry, and bits for the alternator, rad filler, compressor intake on “Libby” plus a few bits for “Pluto”.

Published in 2011 Jul-Sep
Tuesday, 19 June 2012 01:00

Of coal and corrosion

21st August 2011

I was back at Rowsley for Andrew on Tuesday, to meet with two gentlemen from a company who repair traction motors and generators and for whom we had brought the Brush over to the shed late last Sunday. With the aid of the Drewry, and Gary Hibbs who was conveniently available to act as shunter (thanks!) I put the loco over the inspection pit. Regular readers may recall that just over a year ago we had Bowers in to look at the motor, but they never confirmed their price and as Andrew is now considering making a “serious start” early next year it was time to plan ahead.

Published in 2011 Jul-Sep
Tuesday, 19 June 2012 01:00

Of brackets and battery boxes

30th October 2011

A year ago, it would have take several weeks for us to produce a bracket. For once I had drawn it up and sent the drawings on to my profile supplier, gone up to collect them and dropped them off at my favourite fabricators, it might have been 2 weeks or more before they got around to assembling and we would not plan the day to go and fit until we knew they were ready.

Published in 2011 Oct-Dec
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