Weekend Rails

what we do for our kids

Sunday, 19 October 2014 01:00

Of batteries and kerb crawling

19th October 2014

So as I was saying, I was hoping to set up a further meeting with the intended cladding contractor to try to get to the bottom of how the sheeting should fit. In the end, this took place Thursday morning as I had been waiting for completion of a  fuel pump overhaul for a customer and it was wanted back PDQ.

Published in 2014 Oct-Dec
Sunday, 12 October 2014 01:00

Of water – pumps and rain

12th October 2014

After all the theatre and pezazz of last week's edition, here I am staring at the monitor trying to think how to produce anything of real interest this week. For in truth there have been a number of distractions that have prevented serious progress on any front. On the one hand, the weather has turned distinctly autumnal, with some misty mornings and a lot of rain.

Published in 2014 Oct-Dec
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, 28 September 2014 01:00

Of  plywood and paint

28th September 2014

There has to my mind, been far too much 'playing' and not enough 'doing' in this blog of late, and so tonight's edition (and this assumes that I manage to finish it before midnight!) may make up for some of that, as the pressure switches to D2128, or as we are likely to refer to it from now on, 03 901.

Published in 2014 Jul-Sep
Sunday, 21 September 2014 01:00

Of doors, dogs and Darley

21st September 2014

As we waited for the guard's flag at Darley Dale this afternoon, one of the seed pods from a nearby tree passed us, attached to a brown leaf and twirling as it descended to earth, (though sadly this was tarmac so germination is unlikely) and  I was reminded that the season is drawing to an end and autumn is almost here.  We are nearly twelve months in to this shed-building mallarky and still not a roof that we can call home.  

Published in 2014 Jul-Sep
Sunday, 14 September 2014 01:00

Of shutters and Simplexes

14th September 2014


With D8 “Penyghent” having a holiday at Etches Park, it was down to '901 to maintain the diesel end of Peak Rail services, and not only was there a Tuesday and Wednesday but a Thursday too. With only two passed drivers that meant I was rostered for two of the midweek days and then Saturday, so no rest for the wicked.

Published in 2014 Jul-Sep
Sunday, 07 September 2014 01:00

Of microbes and doors

7th September 2014

Originally,  I believe, 14 901 was due to return from Loughborough on Monday, but as Allelys had their prefabricated ramp in place to take the 66 back to Brush (from where it can rejoin the National network) the move was postponed to Tuesday, and as Reid's couldn't make Tuesday, a compromise was reached and it moved on Wednesday.

Published in 2014 Jul-Sep
Sunday, 24 August 2014 01:00

Of  fans and Buff Splits

24th August 2014

Well, I suppose I had better start from the beginning. On Monday, as forecast, Andrew set off rather later than planned for Scunthorpe, but rather fortuitously as it worked out, as the repaired spring for “Tom”, which I had arranged to pick up later in the week, arrived outside the Briddon Country Pile during the morning so we were able to hand-ball it straight out of the lorry and into the van. While he was over there, he refitted the buffer with a replacement spring (further information came to hand which revealed that the buffers on 03's should have but a  single spring, not a nest of two as I had surmised, but that someone had bodged a completely incorrect spring into the place of the failed original).

Published in 2014 Jul-Sep
Sunday, 17 August 2014 01:00

Of  water pumps and birthday cake

17th August 2014


No sooner do I pose a question in this blog than someone responds with an answer – for such a specialist interest it still astonishes me how many diverse people read it.  In this case, I had rambled on about the likely grade of oil to be found in the dashpots of the Matterson Overload relays, and first thing Monday morning, a reader working within the MoD had e-mailed me not only identifying the make of said relays but advising what type and grade of oil he had used in the past!

Published in 2014 Jul-Sep
Sunday, 10 August 2014 01:00

Of rods and channels

10th August 2014

“Last week's Weekend Rails was rubbish”, declared one of my regular readers in a spirit of constructive criticism. And I am not sure that he will be much more satisfied by this week's edition.

Published in 2014 Jul-Sep
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