99 Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces – Late 1983
Editorial: Several things have happened, but little has changed.
Several significant things have happened at Chasewater since the last magazine was printed and these will be detailed in the next few pages.
Little has changed because we are still short of manpower and cash, of these two shortages surely the lack of manpower must be the more inexcusable. On one Sunday this summer there were only two members at Chasewater and I make no apology for the fact that we spent the day working in the shed whilst the public looked through the locked gates of Brownhills West Station. Fifty per cent of those people must have thought that it was a railway scrapyard and the other fifty per cent, who knew better, probably thought that we had closed down for good!
If we are very lucky, sometime next year, we may have a railway which is once again fit to run passenger trains on and probably a couple of locos and coaches in useable condition, but will we have the people to run them?
Nigel Canning – Operating Superintendent
Asbestos – The six missing firebox stays have been riveted into place and the boiler will shortly be hydraulically tested. If this is successful the loco can be reassembled, steam tested and the newly installed vacuum brake equipment tested.
Sentinel heading past the old rear of the loco shed in 1992
Sentinel – The Boiler Inspector will carry out a visual examination on the boiler and superheater of this loco when Asbestos is hydraulically tested. Work will then continue until completed. A trial will have to be carried out to see if this loco is capable of successfully operating passenger trains before any though is given to fitting vacuum brake equipment.
S-100 – Tony has been making use of the summer weather to paint various parts of this loco whilst trying in vain to find somewhere to have its wheels turned.
DL7 – This loco continues in fairly regular use and is to be repainted with a bogus BR ‘D’ number. However, one or two points should be remembered:
- If it is to be used on passenger trains again it will have to be vacuum brake fitted.
- The brake and starting air tanks will, under new regulations, shortly to be introduced, require to be insured and regularly tested.
Small Peckett – Albright & Wilson, the Company from whom this loco is on loan, have recently offered to help pay for a replacement saddle tank. The tank has been measured and drawn so that quotes can be sought for both a complete assembled tank and for a rolled plates do-it-ourselves kit.
No.21 – This loco is still operational if tow-started and has been used on occasion to move items of stock into sidings to pass DL7 in the absence of a run round loop. A complete engine rebuild is probably necessary to enable it to be started from the battery.
This image was taken from the Geograph project collection. on the Geograph. The copyright on this image is owned by Mark Riley and is licensed for reuse under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 license.
Wickham Motor car 50416 – Throughout the summer this vehicle has been in use as a station buffet. A considerable amount of work has been carried out including enlargement of the kitchen hatch, removal of one of the internal bulkheads and screwing down of tables. A start has now been made on completely replacing the guttering so that the coach can be repainted before next year.
Wickham Trailer 56171 – Progress has also been made with this vehicle with the fitting of seats from a Cravens DMU and the removal of rain guttering.
Gloucester Trailer 56301 – No work has been carried out on this vehicle although it will require a repaint and clean up before re-entering service.
TPO 30244 – Following the offer from Tyseley Museum this vehicle was sold for £1,000 and left Chasewater on September 8th. It is reputed to have twisted one of its bogie frames when one corner broke through the floorboards due to being stood on uneven ground during loading.
Six-Wheeled Coaches – One new end has been fitted to the M & C Coach and replacement luggage rack netting is being fitted to the MS & L.
The only work carried out in this building during the summer has been the painting of ‘Asbestos’. A three phase cable has been obtained so that during the winter the workshop can be wired up and used.
Taskforce & Trackwork
During the summer all of the plain track from Brownhills West to Norton East has been relayed with concrete sleepers and work has started on installing a new siding between the station and the shed. Run round loops at both ends still remain to be installed plus level crossing gates and fencing.
Brownhills West station platform has remained half demolished throughout the summer awaiting funds for rebuilding. A grant of £15,000 due in September never materialised and we await a possible grant of £5,000 to be applied for in November.
Some form of sleeper built platform may also be constructed at Norton East if funds and manpower permit.
At the present state of progress it will be touch and go whether the railway will be running next year.
Since the last magazine was published the following instances of vandalism have occurred:
1. Half drum of steam oil drained onto floor.
2. Two large coach windows smashed.
3. Three small coach windows smashed.
4. Paint poured into Gloucester trailer heater fuel tank.
5. Fence cut at least once a week.
The arrival of the LNWR 50 foot passenger brake in its own platform in time for Easter has given a much easier access to the vehicle for old and young alike.
Various item have been acquired this year, some have come by way of donation – others have actually cost money although usually as part of a deal where other items have been acquired to offset the cost.
Relics, mainly paperwork previously kept in the TPO had to be removed in some haste following the decision to sell the vehicle to the Birmingham Railway Museum. Much of what had been kept in the TPO had suffered from the damp conditions that had prevailed in that vehicle for many years following problems with the roof. Most of the old GWR drawings obtained by Mike Lewis many years ago were still in a reasonable condition but some of the larger ledgers and books were virtually no more than mould and were consigned to the bonfire.
Despite what has been happening to the station area (demolition and not much else!) things have ticked over quite nicely in the museum. Obviously fewer visitors without steaming but with more time to listen to comments from visitors it makes one realise how much importance our collection of small relics is to the Railway. Whatever 1984 brings you can be assured that the museum will be open whatever happens outside.