Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 74 – Feb 1977
The Railway Preservation Society Newsletter
Chasewater News 18 – Part 1
From the Editorial
Recent activity at Chasewater has mainly centered on general maintenance, including some considerable tidying up of the entrance to the compound. Footings for a lever frame have been dug at the present end of the platform and we now await some good weather to mix the necessary concrete. The flat wagon on which the petrol crane sits has been re-timbered and strengthened and the crane itself has had some much needed maintenance. On the locomotive side, work has been centred on the Neilson ‘Alfred Paget’ which has been re-assembled after its boiler test. The coupling rods are at present dismantled to enable the crosshead slippers to be replaced with a spare pair which have been re-metalled. It is hoped this will cure some of the knocks emanating from the front end of this engine.
Neilson in 1978
Extracts from the report of the visit of Major Olver of the Railway Inspectorate to Chasewater on 22-7-1976.
1. Major Olver stated that he was quite satisfied with the present mode of passenger operation at Chasewater. He asked that a facing point lock be fitted at the end of the main running line.
2. When the tipping within the park has stopped, a concrete raft with the rails set into it should be installed at the road crossing.
3. There is a major problem of trespass in the region of the causeway which is used as a public right of way. This problem must be looked into in detail before the Society even thinks of running trains along this section of line.
4. The arrangements for repair and restoration of locos are perfectly satisfactory.
5. In reference to the need for a Light Railway Order, Major Olver explained that the section of line owned by British Railways was a statutory railway and therefore a Light Railway Order was needed to transfer its ownership. He went on to say that common sense indicated that any Light Railway Order obtained should be made to apply to the whole of the Railway. The Railway Inspectorate and Railway Administration side of the department will be happy to advise on the question of the Light Railway Order at the appropriate time. Major Olver suggested that the most satisfactory solution may lie in the precedent set by the West Somerset Railway, which would be for Walsall Metropolitan Council to obtain the LRO and to incorporate it into the leasing arrangements.
6. Training for drivers – the present arrangements were far from ideal as the Society relies on its own resources to train drivers. Major Olver stated that drivers should be passed out by an independently qualified supervisor from either British Railways or the National Coal Board. Major Olver explained that in the case of an accident there should be no room to question the basic abilities of the loco driver to drive the locomotive efficiently. At the present time this was not proven. Editor’s Note – This was the only point on which we were criticised and steps to rectify this are underway.
News on the purchase of the line
The executive committee heard that the Council couldn’t purchase the land and track until the 15th July. There appear to be two present options:
1. The Council buy the loopline and we repay £1,400 rent for ten years.
2. We buy and pay a nominal rent to the Council.
Much discussion is at present taking place amongst members on this question and further suggestions are welcomed by contacting the Hon.Sec.
The Stroudley E1 Restoration Fund
E1 at Cannock Wood
This body is the result of the meeting held at Chasewater on 22nd January. Only nine people turned up to this meeting, perhaps indicating the level of interest for this project within the Society.
The first aim of the Society is to raise enough money to purchase the E1 from the Society, a figure in excess of £3,000. There are now four Societies at least, interested in buying the E1 if the RPS has to sell it.
£155.50 has so far been raised and local press coverage has been good but due to the lack of local interest the appeal must go national. Offers of help, monetary or otherwise, should be sent to Mr. Albert Haywood.