Tag Archives: Hednesford

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Chasewater Railway Museum – February 2023 Newsletter

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Chasewater Railway Museum – January 2023 Newsletter

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Chasewater Railway Museum- December 2022 Newsletter

127 – ChasewaterRailwayMuseum Bits & Pieces From Chasewater News January 1991

About time for another Bits and Pieces! Thank you Nigel



127Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces

From Chasewater News January 1991

Editorial – Nigel Canning

At the end of this, another, year we have made further modest progress on our railway.  As yet, the proposed platform at Willow Vale has not been built, but only because a pre-fabricated concrete one, well worth waiting for, has been acquired and awaits removal to Chasewater.

The fact that we have run for the whole year with only one steam loco is in some ways a disappointment, but on the other hand it does show that our engineering standards are as good as anyone’s with no failures having occurred.

With the main line steadily being extended towards the causeway, carriage and wagon restoration proceeding at a pace not seen at Chasewater for many years, and the station site and line in general becoming tidier and more businesslike by the week, 1991 could be the year when we do finally expand and prosper.

Locomotive News

No.4 Asbestos – Progress on this loco is still very slow and as a result it is likely to be well into next year before it steams again.  The boiler and firebox are slowly being cleaned for inspection and following removal of the firebox lagging, which left a lot of mess, the motion has been thoroughly cleaned.Photo: N.Canning

No.5 Sentinel – This is still the line’s only working steam loco and as such will work all the Christmas and New Year trains.  It was painted in camouflage as WD 79632 for the military weekend in September and is now in red undercoat prior to being repainted in its original gasworks red livery.

A number of outstanding minor repairs have recently been carried out, including fitment of a new blower pipe and firing chute, re-machining of a leaking clack shut off valve, and rectification of an engine oil pressure problem followed by an engine oil change.  The loco will shortly be fitted with a new fire grate to replace the rapidly disintegrating one currently held in place with a piece of angle iron secured to the sander pipe by fencing wire.

No.2 Lion – This loco is currently being fitted with sliding cab shutters and is likely to be hydraulic tested at the same time as Asbestos.  The saddle tank has been sent away for repair by contractors and should return shortly in pristine condition.

S100 – The major work being carried out on this loco is still the construction of a machine for grinding the hornguides, which posed more problems than had originally been anticipated.

No.7  Ruston – This loco is still in good running order although there was a minor mishap in July.  After its having stood unused for a number of weeks, the engine bent a pushrod during start-up.  Further investigation revealed that one of the fuel elements in the injection pump was also seized.  Repairs were affected fairly quickly and the engine appears to start more easily than it has for a long while.

No.9 Fowler – This loco is now running reliably and sharing shunting duties with No.7

Smith Rodley 5 ton crane – This vehicle has received a lot of attention recently in preparation for forthcoming work on the track.  The bodywork is being repaired with new windows and a complete repaint.  Work is also being carried out to repair the wooden floor and fit a guard around the open gearing in the cab.

 Permanent Way News

A prefabricated concrete platform has been acquired from the Severn Valley Railway and will shortly be brought to Chasewater.  This is obviously ideal for Willow Vale Halt and will be far superior to the sleeper built affair originally proposed.

Work has continued on extension of the track past Willow Vale in addition to maintenance of the existing running line.  The increased number of working members mentioned in the last magazine seems to have been more than maintained to the extent that we are handling the 45ft and 60ft rails with relative ease.  Unfortunately the overhead power lines which pass over this section of line preclude the use of the crane for quite a distance either side.

Carriage & Wagon News

Activities in this department have continued to increase so that there are currently a number of historic coaches and even wagons being worked on, as follows:

Midland four wheel passenger brake – Following extensive research, this vehicle is being restored to its original Midland Railway condition.  This has so far involved the removal of various post-MR additions, such as the internal partition, door and a bench seat.  Part of the roof is being rebuilt and various bad body panels renewed.

Manchester, Sheffield and Lincoln six wheel coach – Restoration of this vehicle has continued with renewal of broken windows and repair or replacement of damaged body panels.

Great Eastern six wheel passenger brake – Restoration of this long-abandoned vehicle has also recently commenced, initially with the stove, but also body panels and windows.  Hopefully the boiler from S100 which has blocked its movement for a number of years will soon be removed to the shed yard allowing the Great Eastern to be moved again.

Ex Cammel Laird hopper wagon – Having been little used since the hopper body was removed for scrap a number of years ago, this wagon has now been completely decked over with chequer plate to form a very sound flat wagon.  Minor repairs have also been carried out to the brake linkage and the whole thing painted in Tri0ang Big-Big Train bright blue.

Wooden five plank wagons – Both of the two examples of this type of wooden framed, wooden bodied wagons at Chasewater have badly deteriorated over the years.  At last a start has been made on one of these to renew all the rotten timbers in the floor and sides.

DMU Coaching stock – The Gloucester and Wickham trailer cars have remained coupled together as our passenger train throughout the season.  The left hand side of the Gloucester, which for some reason always seems to be more susceptible to body rot than the other, has received a few more patch repairs and a repaint.

The Wickham power car has remained in use as the station buffet.  However, when the new portacabin is opened for business, this coach could re-enter passenger service, steam hauled, or even under its own power.

New Acquisition – One of our members has just purchased from BR via Tyseley diesel depot, a DMU centre car.  Full details are not yet available, although it is No.59444, asbestos-free, in excellent condition and until very recently running on BR.  Further details, and hopefully an article, will appear in the next magazine.  This of course makes possible some very interesting train formations and raises the question ‘will we shortly be needing longer platforms?’

General News From The Line

A large portacabin has been acquired and will be put next to the booking office, and when fitted out will become the station buffet.  Mains power will be provided from the newly rewired site supply and it is rumoured that running water will also be plumbed in.

Photo: N.Canning

Work has continued on tidying up the station area by clearing away the assorted rubbish which continually seems to appear from nowhere.  Grass is now being encouraged to grow in the area in the middle of the run round loop to form a rough lawn and kept trimmed with a strimmer.  The stationary engine displaced by the new buffet is likely to be permanently mounted in the middle of the loop, and possibly made operational by a buried pipe to a compressed air or steam supply from one of the locos.

Sewer pipes have been run from the portacabins and portaloo out into the culvert in the park.  Most of the trench digging was done by a rented (cheaply!) JCB but a lot of work had to be finished off by hand.  This involved around a dozen or so people and is another example of what can be achieved by our steadily expanding volunteer workforce.

Stop Press

Following a problem with the release of the portacabin mentioned above from its current owners, a further two smaller portacabins have been acquired and arrived on site on December 1st.  Due to various problems, these units took two days to unload from the lorry and a further three Sundays to winch them through the fence and into position.  There are plans afoot to make one of the cabins into a mess room for members, and the other into a washroom with showers, lockers, etc.

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Chasewater Railway Museum News

124 – Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces from April 1990

The Museum will be open on Sunday, 5th June. 11.00am Entry from the rear of the heritage centre

124Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces

From Chasewater News April 1990

 A telephoto view of a Sentinel hauled train passing the shed yard – Dave France

Editorial

This winter’s mild weather seems to have promoted a lot of activity at Brownhills West station, and with much of the work being carried out by new members.  In addition to the trackwork mentioned in ‘PW News’, a hell of a lot of effort has been put in n the platform and buildings to the extent that this very public face of our activities is on the verge of looking even better than it did in 1982 before the old platform was demolished.  Work already carried out includes re-levelling of the Booking Office and fitting of an extended canopy, installing an old GPO phone box on the platform, laying a concrete path to the buffet coach and laying of grassed areas at the back of the platform.  If only we could keep this level of progress up for the rest of the season!

Locomotive News

No.4 Asbestos – This loco has now had all fittings removed and the tank lifted in readiness for its six-yearly boiler examination.  A professional boilersmith has been contracted to carry out repairs around the foundation ring where the rivets have become wasted with consequent leakage past the inner wrapper.  Work is also progressing on other minor repairs and adjustments and it is hoped that the loco will be back in service before Transport Scene.

No.5 Sentinel – This loco is still in working order, although drained down, having worked the Christmas and New Year trains.  The recently re-routed ejector exhaust has proved to be a lot quieter, allowing the driver and fireman to chat politely across the cab when running.  Only a few minor adjustments and a crank case oil change remain to be carried out before next season’s running.

No.2 Lion – Progress is still being made re-tubing the boiler and mounting of cab fittings.

S100 – Both crossheads have been separated from their piston rods, another job involving a great deal of heat and force.  Preparations are also underway for the machining of the hornguides using a patent homemade machine which grinds as it sweeps as it cleans!

No.7 Ruston – This loco is still in good running order.

Fowler – This loco performs well once running, but due to a number of teeth missing from the starter ring is tricky to start when cold.  The only recent minor failure was that of one of the vee belts which drives the air compressor.  Looking on the positive side, the dynamo control box has now been rebuilt allowing the batteries to charge correctly.

Other locos – No work has been carried out on any other loco.

Carriage & Wagon News

A number of minor but important jobs have been carried out to the interior of the Gloucester and Wickham trailers which still remain coupled together.  Hopefully the bodywork will be tidied up and repainted as soon as weather permits.

No other C & W work has been carried out.

Permanent Way News

Pete,Arthur & Steve ballast new track at Willow Vale – Dave France.

Quite a lot of progress is being made in this area despite the pitiful number of people involved.  At last a start has been made on completing the run-round loop at Brownhills West by installing the missing turnout from the end of the platform across to the buffers on No.2 road.  This work will be completed mostly using parts already on site, although a few additional timbers will probably have to be bought.  In order to ease the construction of the new loop at Norton, a complete turnout has been purchased from the Baddesley Colliery Railway, currently being demolished.  In addition to this, a large number of fishplate bolts have also been acquired involving four or five members making repeated trips to the site to unbolt them from the sidings there.

Work has continued to progress on the extension of track through the site of the new Willow Vale Halt towards the causeway.  This is now likely to be curtailed slightly during work on Brownhills West loop and on the Willow Vale platform.

Operating

Sentinel 59632 eases stock out of (21G) Hednesford Road shed yard. – Dave France

Luckily this winter the weather has again been very mild and so there was no problem with water supplies for the locos, or in attracting passengers.  The running of Christmas and New Year trains went smoothly and was financially successful.

Father Christmas was in attendance on 17th December and distributed presents to the children from his grotto in the ‘blue van’.  On 31st December the mince pie specials did good business attracting plenty of people to ride on the railway.

On 28th January there was an extra steaming when the ARPS visited us following their meeting in Birmingham.  In addition to this there was a car rally in the park so again we had a very profitable day.

The 1990 season proper looks set to start on Easter Sunday, which being a little later this year, will give us valuable extra time to carry out maintenance and repairs.

Any member wishing to volunteer to work on the train or on the station should obtain a roster form from the Booking Office.

122/123 Chasewater Railway Bits and Pieces, Toad.

122Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces

From Chasewater News December 1989 – 3

A Tale of Toad – Part 1 – I.Newbold

Following the arrival of this Fowler 0-4-0 Diesel-Hydraulic locomotive, two problem areas were identified.  The first was the reason for its withdrawal from commercial use; the coolant pump had expired and circulated most of the cooling water straight out onto the track.  Also the starting batteries (all four of them) had decayed during the loco’s period of inactivity.

Having removed the water pump and taken it to work, it was duly dismantled, in my own time of course, and it was only then that its reason for failing became apparent.  The sump had obviously been apart before, probably for the same reason, but unfortunately it had been put back together wrongly.  The rotating carbon seal had had its fixed running face installed back to front, and the seal which had been fitted had the wrong diameter lip for the water pump’s shaft. This meant that water could get past the seal into the bearing housing.  Now this might not have been so serious as this sort of seal usually tends to allow a very small amount of fluid past as a lubricant for the rubber faces, and the bearing housing has a drain hole in its face to allow this to escape.  Unfortunately the bearing housing had been put on upside down so the drain hole was at the top so the bearings had been immersed in water and had also expired.

Fortunately at this time a rep for the carbon-faced seal suppliers paid us a visit at work and was hi-jacked for a while.  He supplied a data sheet giving seal/shaft dimension correlations.  Armed with this information the seal face was fitted correctly, a collar turned down to fit on the shaft for the seal lip to sit against, and some new bearings found.  The water pump was then re-fitted three times before the gasket face with the cylinder block could be persuaded to seal.  Two of these occasions were in the rain and, although there is a fair amount of room under the hood, you invariably end up with water running down your neck on various occasions.  By this point I had become convinced of the advantage of air-cooled engines!

The loco then served a useful spell of duty requiring only a split air-hose to be removed.

As the months passed, the batteries became more of a problem and a blowing noise started to be heard from under the hood.  Investigation revealed the cause to be a blow from No.1 or No.2 cylinder.  This engine, in common with many automotive diesel (or more correctly oil) engines has a single piece six-cylinder block with a pair of three cylinder heads fitted.  As the blow was from the cylinder to the outside rather than into the oil or water systems, the loco could still be used with care if required.  A new set of four six-volt batteries were fitted, courtesy of the kind auspices of the loco’s major owners, Andy Cavelot.

Now the fun really started, as any of you have ever messed around with older cars, through interest or necessity, will know that getting hold of the technical manuals is a major part of the battle.  The information that came with the loco appears to have made a successful escape bid (if anyone out there knows where it is please could we have it back, even now) and Halford’s didn’t seem to stock a Haynes manual for a Fowler 0-4-0diesel hydraulic loco, so we had a problem.  The engine fitted to ‘Toad’ is a Leyland 900 series vertical lorry engine, so I started by ringing the Leyland dealer who contract services our works vans.  He revealed tat the head gasket sets could still be obtained, at a price, but he did not have a manual on these engines, in fact only one of their staff could ever remember seeing one.  He did, however, suggest that I try ringing Leyland or B.R.E.L. at Derby.  Thinking logically for a change, I decided to start with Leyland.

123Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces

From Chasewater News April 1990

A Tale of Toad – I.Newbold – Part 2

I rang directory enquiries and asked for Leyland/Daf; phone number actually in Leyland, Lancs.  No such luck, their computerised system could not find it.  Oh well, try a different tack.  I rang BREL at Derby and after about four phone calls managed to speak to someone who knew the Leyland 900 engine.  Unfortunately, after speaking to him, I was probably more depressed than before.  BR had employed the horizontal version on some of their stock and they had not exactly been the most spectacular success story ever.  Initially the engines had employed a wet linered cylinder block, there had been a change in piston design, followed by a change in crankshaft design, followed by a change to dry linered cylinder block.  The last modification was to cure an inherent problem of blowing head gaskets, not totally successful either, he added.  The outcome was that he could not be sure which variant we had, even from the engine number, his only suggestion was to go away and measure the cylinder head stud diameters, find out if washers were incorporated under the head nuts, etc. etc.  As a final comment, after giving various gasket fitting tips, he said that in BR use a good engine of this type would run for about a year between blowing gaskets.  Our ‘Toad’, it appears, had done so every couple of years, Leyland must have been taking lessons from Crossley.

Parallel to this, I decided to try to find Leyland again, but how?  Ring up the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust thinks I, well they only deal with cars but their non-computerised system had a record of Leyland’s phone number.  Computers 0, Card Index 1

So, feeling a little perkier I rang Leyland – Daf as it is now, and after a few tries I got through to their technical publications department.

“Have you still got any data on the 900 series?” asks I, “Good grief” say they.  After a five minute rummage, I was asked to ring back in a couple of days.  A couple of days later I rang back:  Bad news and good news, they had disposed of all their old manuals, but most had gone to the British Commercial Vehicle Museum.  However, they could not guarantee their having passed a 900 series engine manual on as it really was an Albion engine, built in Scotland.  I could try the Albion owners club.  This I did, but they didn’t seem to want to answer the phone.

The other parallel course was still grinding onward and after a measuring session of head stud diameters, etc. I rang BREL back: the chap I wanted was on holiday.  Ho Hum.

I decided to ask the loco’s previous owners if they knew anything about it.  Now I don’t know if you have ever tried to find the phone number of a military establishment, but it’s not quite as straight forward as it could be.  Deciding not to bother with Directory Enquiries, I rang the War Office, sorry, Ministry of Defence, in London and eventually got the requisite number.  I rang Radway Green, only to be told that I had just missed the Head of Transport, he had just gone home.  I rang back the next day – he was not in.  The third day I rang I was given a vital piece of information, they were shut down for holiday, could I ring back next week?  OK folks, don’t invade us or declare war – we’re on holiday!

Next week I rang back and spoke to the head of the transport department, they certainly remembered ‘Toad’, but did not repair it themselves, some chaps used to come from ‘somewhere near Derby’ to repair it.  I was passed on to the fitter, who was uncertain about whether it was wet or dry linered, and did not know the head torques.

Not long afterwards I traced the British Commercial Vehicle Museum phone number, BT’s computer had this one in memory – shock, horror, anyway I gave them a ring.

“The chap you want is out, can you ring back tomorrow?”  This sounded familiar, so I rang back the next day and found the relevant person and gave him the by now very well rehearsed patter.  He sounded quite hopeful and asked me to ring back in a few days.  This I duly did and was rewarded with the information we required.  Just for the record, if anyone else wants to fit a Leyland 900 head gasket, the torques are:  200lb/ft on the ⅝” UNF studs, and 100lb/ft on the ½” UNF studs.  Eureka!  They could even sell us a copy of the engine manual.  It is at this point that someone comes up and says ‘I could have told you that’ – if they do I’ll scream!

Now all we’ve got to do is buy a head gasket and fit it….

Then there is the dynamo control box to set up……

Then the exhauster to fit…….

Then the……..

Update 2011 – ‘Toad’ is now owned by R. Fredwoods (not sure about the spelling!) and is awaiting a new engine…..

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Chasewater Railway Museum 2022 opening times

115 Chasewater Railway Museum Bits and Pieces, January 1988

Our latest picture of my personal favourite Cannock Chase Colliery Loco, Sharp Stewart No. 6, 2643/1876,  complete with ‘tender’.  Nothing to do with the post but I like it!

115 – Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces

 From Chasewater News January 1988

 This Newsletter is issued with the annual membership renewal form.  If you do not renew your membership you will not receive the next magazine, due out in time for Easter.

The photographs included are those of Bagnall 0-4-0 ST 2648-1941 in various liveries.

Boardroom Notes

The Chasewater Light Railway Co. Ltd. AGM was held in the expected ten minutes.  The accounts for both the Company and the Society are being brought up to date and a Society AGM will be held shortly.

The Chasewater Light Railway & Museum Co. Annual Report is currently being compiled for distribution in early February, with the CLR & M Co. AGM being held at Brownhills West Station on Saturday 5th March at 2.30 pm.

Some progress has been made on the office/shop development though more work is still needed.

On the motorway front, the Public Enquiry is expected to begin in mid-April and will take about eight weeks to hear 1,500 objections to the scheme, 75% of which centre on the proposed development in the Chasewater area!

Anyone interested in joining the Board should contact the Company Secretary.

Membership Report

The renewal form for those whose membership is due on 28th February is enclosed with this Newsletter.  Please complete it NOW, not in two months time.  We need the membership money now to complete our Winter work programme.  Failure to renew will deprive you of the Easter edition of Chasewater News and the opportunity of helping on operating days.  All train crews, station staff and other helpers must be members for insurance purposes.

News from the Line

Trackwork – Work on the point connecting 2 & 3 roads is almost complete with 3 road re-connected to the rest of the railway whilst 2 road is at present being relaid.  It is hoped to construct the southern end of the run round at Brownhills West during the year – weather, manpower and materials permitting.

Engineering – Work is in hand to finish the equipment demanded by the Railway Inspector’s last report, namely Annetts Key locks on point lever frames, facing point locks and level crossing gates as well as several minor items.

Rolling Stock

It is hoped to restore and refurbish the Wickham trailer car so that it can be used to form a two coach train set for steam hauled services this season.  Extra help for this work would be most appreciated as would finance for the internal refurbishment and re-glazing required.  Use of the Wickham trailer with its ‘bar’ facilities will enable on train catering to be attempted and help increase our profit margins on operating days.

Extension of Services

The Railway inspectorate have given us provisional approval to extend services to the bottom of the causeway bank, now that this land is owned by Walsall Council, who are prepared to lease it to us, (i.e. the end of the former BR owned section of line) providing a license is obtained from British Rail.  (This license will enable us to extend services whilst a Light railway Order for the whole of the Railway is obtained).  The Railway Inspectorate is prepared to let us propel trains over this length of line initially, providing an extra coach is used to increase braking power, hence the urgency in getting the Wickham trailer ready for services.  However, run round facilities will have to be installed as a matter of some urgency.  Extension of services can only take place when the aforementioned license is granted (work on obtaining this is under way) and when the relevant track is brought up to standard as well as the necessary fencing and ancillary fittings.  Hopefully extended services can begin during the 1988 season provided the necessary work is done.

Extension of the running line will give us a chance of running services from somewhere to somewhere (Brownhills West to Norton East/Willow Vale Halt?) for the first time, as well as giving a decent length of line for our engines to show their paces.  It is hoped to build a platform at the ‘end of the line’, enabling passengers to walk up to the lakeside and view the increasing variety of wildfowl which reside upon the lake as well as enjoying the chance of using the north side of the lake which is grossly under-used and inaccessible at present.

Since 1971 (when diesel hauled services using Nos. 20 & 21 started) the CLR has patiently awaited the day when services could be extended – at last the opportunity is within our grasp – with your help it will happen this year!

Looking to the future, Walsall Council are planning to undertake a full survey of the causeway with regard to rebuilding it to a suitable width for railway and footpath and are concerned about the ‘massive erosion’ caused by wave action due to British Waterways Board keeping the lake level too high.

Mutual Improvement Classes

A series of classes are to be held during late February and March and all members wishing to take part in train operations in the coming season are urged to attend as only participants will be considered for future footplate and station duties.

The course will consist of the following subjects:

  1. First Aid
  2. General Safety
  3. Footplate Management
  4. Railway Operations at Chasewater

Although there is of necessity a certain amount of technical content, much of the course is based on common sense and is of a basic nature.

During the season further practical instruction will be given to any members new to the operating side of things.

Bagnall Linda in action – leaving Chasewater Heaths for Chasetown Church Street with Our late friend Mick Doman driving.

111 – Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces, from Chasewater News 1986/7

111 – Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces

 From ‘Chasewater News’ Winter 1986/7Magazine cover – a drawing of CLR No.5, the ex Walsall Gas Works Sentinel, by Steve Bent.

Following the “Reorganisation Day” of 22nd November there are at present three bodies which together form the Chasewater Project.

1       – Chasewater Light Railway and Museum Company – The CLR&M Co is responsible for the day to day and long term policies of the Railway as well as being the body to which the supporters and sympathisers of the Railway join.

The Officers of CLR & M Co. are:

CHAIRMAN – Steve Organ

GENERAL MANAGER – Tony Sale

ENGINEERING Manager – Nigel Canning

OPERATING MANAGER – Les Emery

COMMERCIAL MANAGER – Barry Bull

MARKETING MANAGER – Ian Patterson

FINANCIAL MANAGER – Bob Curtis

NON-EXECUTIVE – Colin Marklew

COMPANY SECRETARY – Adrian Hall

2       – Chasewater Light Railway Company – The old Company will remain in existence until its assets, debts and liabilities are transferred to the new Company.

There are at present two directors:

COMPANY SECRETARY – Adrian Pearson

CLR & M Co. NOMINEE – Adrian Hall

3       – Chasewater Light Railway Society – The Society is remaining in existence until such time as the CLR & M Co. attains charitable status, in order to safeguard the rolling stock and relics as well as holding the leases.

At present the CLRS has the following members: L.Hodgkinson, D.Ives, T.Sale, B.Bull and I.Patterson (CLR & M Co. Nominee)

The above mentioned are also the Trustees of the Society.

 News from the Line

Loco Department

No.2 is awaiting its turn for overhaul, a change of ownership is rumoured.

No.3 Slow progress with the firebox repairs may result in the frames making way for the GM’s machine (S100) in the shed.

No.4 Asbestos has performed satisfactorily during the season and is due for attention to its side rod brasses and regulator valve during the winter months.

No.5 59632 has also performed well and gets better with every steaming.  The vacuum brake system works to the required standard, much to the relief of all concerned.

No.6 All that can be reported is that we have exchanged a spare set of side rods in our possession for some missing boiler fittings (stolen some years ago).

No.7 The Ruston has been used occasionally for shunting but happily the increased use of ‘real’ motive power has made the engine somewhat redundant.

Neilson, Alfred Paget and Barclay Invicta

No.8 Invicta may well return to service during 1987 following a full boiler examination, platework repairs and fitting of vacuum brakes.

No.10 The frames of S100 have descended from their lofty perch and are temporarily mobile.  Once installed in the shed the wheelsets will be re-removed for attention to the hornguides and following a probable orgy of machining and highly technical stuff, the motion and valve gear can be reassembled – sounds easy, but it could take years (and years!).

No.11 The ancient Neilson languishes outside the shed awaiting its turn for attention.  (it’s now got as far as the workshop!)

No.21 The ex Bass Worthington ‘pudding’ awaits its replacement engine.

Wickham DMU

Several windows have been replaced following a spate of vandalism and new rainwater gutters have been fabricated and fitted.

The presence of blue asbestos (the mineral not the engine!) has been noted by the Railway Inspectorate and it will have to be removed from all three DMU coaches in the not too distant future.

Trackwork

Following Gricers Day work was concentrated on relaying Nop.1 road back to the remnants of S100.

This was swiftly accomplished and as mentioned elsewhere the frames of S100 were removed.  Once the boiler of S100 is removed the Great Eastern Coach should be rendered mobile, last having moved in about 1973!

Following the visit of Major Olver of the Railway Inspectorate on 3rd December work has centered on the installation of a catch point on Elsley’s siding which has been relaid.  The catch point is necessary to stop any stock rolling onto the main line when passenger trains are being operated.

Wooden Bodied Stock

Steve Organ has started the unenviable task of restoring the wooden bodied coaches, or at least making them weatherproof and presentable.

He is aiming to have the three six-wheelers and the four-wheel MR passenger brake fit for running demonstration trains (i.e. non-passenger carrying) by Gricers Day on 11-10-1987.

Needless to say all offers of help will be most welcome as the success of this laudable project rests on ADDITIONAL help coming forward.

So far the ex Maryport & Carlisle coach is nearly in the initial stage of acceptability whilst Mr. X (I can’t remember his name) is having a go on returning the ex MR four-wheeler to its pre MSC scheme condition.

Being highly optimistic, Organic Steve hopes to fit in a renovation of the brake end of the ex LNWR coach as a picture gallery (a what!!!!?)The afternoon ‘Paddy’ on the Hednesford to Cannock Wood line during the late 1950s.  The loco is the 1866 built Lilleshall 0-6-0ST ‘Rawnsley’ and the coach is the ex LNWR non-corridor composite now awaiting restoration at Chasewater.

 431 Hudswell Group Notes

The fund is approaching the half-way mark towards the purchase of the locomotive, so by this time next year the locomotive should be in the ownership of the group.

The recent visit of the Railway Inspectorate has provided the Group with a major setback as the boiler lagging of the locomotive must be professionally removed before restoration can begin, at a cast of well in excess of £500.

 Progress Report on ‘E1’ No.9 ‘Cannock Wood’The ex London, Brighton and South Coast Railway E1 No.110 ‘Burgundy’ seen coasting down te Cannock Wood branch in its later form as Cannock & Rugeley Colliery’s No.9 ‘Cannock Wood’

We have received the following report about the restoration of the E1, which members of long-standing will recall was sold to the East Somerset Railway at Cranmore in 1978.

“Work has progressed well……well sort of.  Things have not come apart as they should and caused some anxious moments for crane drivers and merriment for those on the ground.

The first part to come off this project was the right-hand intermediate axle box oiling pot, since then many other parts have been removed, cleaned, repaired, painted in works grey (we have a lot of grey) and given an I.D. disc.  This is then entered in a log book recording what the part is, where it comes from and what it does, sometimes accompanied by a small drawing to help relocation when we fling the engine back together!

The front sand boxes took a great deal of effort to part them from the frames due to two hundredweight of one hundred-year-old wet sand which corroded all the metal bits together.  These are well on the way to being rebuilt.

The brake rigging has caused some problem with the steam brake being rusted up solid, a badly pitted cylinder bore, the main shaft bent considerably and pull rod equalizer rods bent.

The side tanks came off using the Dubs crane tank and the ‘lift and move quickly backwards’ method, with much screeching and tearing of metal (must remember to burn off ALL the bolts next time!).

The cab roof came off with much reluctance, and when lowered on the ground it collapsed in a heap of rust.  As normal the bunker came off with difficulty leaving the bottom of the rear sand boxes still attached by rust, twisted and torn, to the frames.

Boiler work is coming along slowly with half the tubes out, pulled by the digger.  Some of the tubes are nearly new with no scale on, but a thin layer of rust.  The cab roof is to be repaired, whilst drawings are being prepared for the new side tanks.  The bunker will be remade on site by us in the near future.  The boiler has been de-lagged at a cost of £800 and should be lifted to enable the wheels to be removed and a start made on the waggly bits underneath.

Further news gleaned from the pages of Steam Railway (Jan 1987) reveals that restoration will cost in excess of £25,000 and may include a new firebox.

The loco will be finished in Southern Railway black livery as E110 and will be in as near to original condition as is practicable.

The unique Rawnsley chimney and the nameplates, etc. are to be returned to Chasewater in due course.”

Visit of the Railway Inspectorate 3-12-1986

Briefly they require some extra work on the track to that previously expected, but this should not present any problems.  The use of push-pull operations was agreed until such time as the motorway outcome was known.  However, a bell system between loco and coach must be installed and in the near future locos intended for passenger duties must be fitted with vacuum activated steam brake valves.

Apart from this, the major difficulty is the presence of blue asbestos as mentioned elsewhere.

Provided we comply with the Inspectorate’s requirements, a further inspection in the spring should leave us free to recommence regular steam hauled passenger trains.

The Future

The project engineer for the motorway has been to the railway and vaguely indicated as to where the new road may cross the railway.  Detailed plans are to be drawn up by the Departments consultants and will be put on public exhibition during the autumn.  Prior to this there is rumoured to be a public meeting in Burntwood Baths during April (What’s wrong with the lake at Chasewater?!).

Unless the railway can get a firm idea of how and where it can expand then the good work and impetus gained during 1986 will be lost.  To this end, a short list of possible alternative sites has been drawn up to be further investigated if it becomes apparent that we are ‘flogging a dead horse’ by remaining at Chasewater.