Weekend Rails

what we do for our kids

Sunday, 20 October 2013 01:00

Of watchers and watches

20th October 2013

Well now, this weeks instalment may be a disappointment. It has been a quiet time. Amongst other things, I've been down to the Eurostar depot at Temple Mills. (That's Temple Mills on the East side of Borisville: I gather there was some sort of sporting event held near there last year.) I've been in to lots of rail depots over the years, but never before have I had to empty my pockets, and pass through a metal detector whilst my personal particulars are X-ray'd, not to mention a nice (but not English) lady searching my car.  Of course, were I to work at a Heathrow  I daresay all this would be commonplace and not raise an eyebrow, but it just seemed so unnecessary just to get into a rail depot.

Published in 2013 Oct-Dec
Sunday, 22 September 2013 01:00

Of 16 trips to Sainsbury's

22nd September 2013

As I have said before, there are weeks when I am doing too much unpaid for the “collection”. This week has been one such. On Tuesday, although D8 Penyghent, was rostered according to Peak Rail's website, in practice we had been asked to provide and man 14 901 as D8s regular driver had a hospital appointment. I had been hoping that, by now, we would have had drivers trained up and ready to enjoy this experience, but although I am 'keeping up the momentum' on training (as per my instructions), we have no-one yet who has had experience of driving in passenger service and with all these person-carrying things in tow. So it was down to me to drive the loco, supported by one of my trainees to act as Secondman, and, as he to was not signed to act as a pilot, Rob S to perform that role. And I was under strict orders that I must do all the driving.

Published in 2013 Jul-Sep
Sunday, 18 August 2013 01:00

Of cooking onions on 4Fs

18th August 2013

The grand changeover of Weekend Rails to a slightly different appearance is drawing ever nearer and will almost certainly be during the next week. You'll see a slightly different sub-headline, and the left hand column will change and there'll be a sort of monthly gallery section where you can see all the pictures and videos outside the main blog section. I hope you will like the new style and features. Last time I looked, 2010 and half of 2011's posts had been copied across, so there should be no loss for any newcomers sufficiently interested to wade back through.

Published in 2013 Jul-Sep
Sunday, 16 June 2013 01:00

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.

Published in 2013 Apr-Jun
Sunday, 09 June 2013 01:00

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.

Published in 2013 Apr-Jun
Sunday, 09 December 2012 00:00

Of excess and dearth of smoke

9th December 2012

It has been a peculiar sort of a week. Back at the beginning, Andrew received news that the IMechE had awarded him his Incorporated Engineer status - that's roughly half way between his degree and becoming a full blown Chartered Engineer. He can now put IEng behind his name. I've had a man in to widen all the doors at the Briddon Country Pile.

Published in 2012 Oct-Dec
Sunday, 18 November 2012 00:00

Of the return of Jack

18th November 2012

I threw in the last two lines of last week's blog just as a way of rounding it off, but I should have known better. First thing Monday morning Andrew learned that, owing to administrative screw-up, there was in fact no vehicle heading to Hollycombe to collect "Jack" despite several prior assurances. To cut a long story short, a vehicle finally rolled in on Wednesday afternoon and despite awkward access, darkness and other such impediments, "Jack" was loaded and on its way before the end of the day.

Published in 2012 Oct-Dec
Wednesday, 20 June 2012 01:00

Of stopping and starting

4th March 2012

Even as I was packing to go away for the (previous) weekend, I got a phone call from Peak Rail reporting that Charlie’s stop solenoid had given up the ghost. Let me explain. Left to its own devices, most engine fuel pumps head to the “run” position, it is what they are made to do. Therefore you need a device to pull the lever on the pump to a position where there is insufficient fuel delivered and the engine stops.

Published in 2012 Jan-Mar
Tuesday, 19 June 2012 01:00

Of vacuum and lost buses

19th June 2011

Sadly the cunning plan Andrew had hatched last week didn’t work. In fact, not only – when he rang up on Friday lunchtime – was he unable to secure the services of the required contractor, but the “boss” declared she was on holiday that day! He was not at all impressed with such customer service and we may be looking at an alternative solution.

Published in 2011 Apr-Jun
Tuesday, 19 June 2012 01:00

Of the year drawing to a close

30th December 2011

Having had the whole weekend before Christmas “off” I resisted the urge to do something on Andrew’s locos without his being there. For such a dereliction of duty not only was it inevitable that he would “book” me for Christmas Eve but 4 days between Boxing Day and New Years Eve to boot. Oh, well, what else would one do?

Published in 2011 Oct-Dec
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