Posted by: wrha | December 7, 2016

What could have been:-

The class 26 is posed with the Mk2 buffet in the station…

Posted by: wrha | December 6, 2016

Fowler progress

It hasn’t just been track work which has been going on over the last few months. Visitors to this blog may be aware that there is a Fowler diesel shunter on site. A small team has been working on this loco with a view to making it operational again (The engine has been started in the past but an issue with head gasket and a cylinder liner were identified).

Steady progress is being made with the ancillaries on the engine being refitted following refurbishment. Recently the sump was refitted following a weld repair to a small crack which was causing leakage. The fuel system is almost reassembled, and one of the next tasks is to run in new wiring for the starter motor and the dynamo. There are also various pressure and flow sensors to check and wire in to enable the engine to be test run.

The loco is privately owned by a small group, who are also WRHA members.


The paintwork on the Fowler continues to advance although the weather is not helping this year.

Posted by: wrha | November 26, 2016

Saturday 26/11/16

A white frost, but with lots of bright sunshine saw our volunteers tackling a variety of tasks at Whitrope today.Northumbria Rail’s boys planned to change the engine oil and filter on the Permaqiup, plus replacing all the injector bleed off hose on the machine, replacing jubilee clips on the cooling system to try and cure the water leaks.

Rod, George and Davy continued their good work on the Fowler loco, now that the engine sump has been removed and sent for welding things where looking a lot brighter.

Tom continued to work on the guards van, and Peter tried to continue his draining at the tunnel mouth, but conditions where very slippy, so work was halted.

Andy, Craig and Jim started to remove the first section of rail at the crossing where we plan to replace the wood sleepers with concrete ones.

Joe was cutting back some of his plants ready for a blooming display next year and doing a general tidy up.

A good day all round.

Posted by: wrha | November 13, 2016

Saturday 12/11/2016

A good turn out of volunteers, mainly in readiness for the AGM.

The Permaquip Patrolmen’s was given a service by the Northumbria Rail team and has new fuel filters fitted and the coolant topped up with antifreeze.

A run was taken down to the south end of the line to pick up some of the permanent Way materials recovered from Methil. These, along with items already stockpiled will be sorted and and checked so requirements for future plans can be developed.

Malcolm also undertook some work on the brake van so this is a bit more weathertight.

Some work was also undertaken on the Fowler.

Future work on site will involve: The ex Methil track panels being stripped down and the first two panels heading North from the crossing (Main 15 & 14) being stripped and the wooden sleepers being swapped out for concretes. Work on the brake van will continue. Work on the Fowler will continue. Members who are interesting in helping out with tasks will be made welcome; please contact us to confirm the work going ahead.

(Posted by DMS – Edited to try and make photos appear better!)

Posted by: wrha | November 11, 2016

Saturday 05/11/16

A pleasant day by Whitrope’s standards, bright sunshine with a cold wind.

With a good turn out by our committed volunteers a range of tasks where planned.

We have been aware of a fault on the Permaquip HCT brakes for a few weeks so this was our priority.

Baz, Andy and Jim lifted the trailer wheels clear of the track using the trailers own hydraulic jacking system and the brake pads where freed off on all four wheels.

All the system was then sprayed with releasing fluid and all four wheels are now free running.

We took advantage of this down time to carry out some preventive maintenance on the Permaquip personnel carrier at the same time, and to check and run up the rail bus, RB004 for a while.

Tom continued to clean and paint the guards van, and Peter unfortunately had to walk to the tunnel mouth to his drainage work.

With the Permaquip back in service we planned to continue our ballasting operations.

This is when the Gremlins set in!

The digger was reluctant to start, and when it did we where showered in hydraulic oil from a burst hose.

Definately lunch time.

Jim set to work to remove the burst hose, while Andy and Baz set to work to take apart the panels from Methil.

We hope to use the concrete sleepers in a 60ft panel in the running line as the wood sleepers in this section are past their sell by date.

Work then switched to removing the PAN11s from the old sleepers that where used to divert the running line to the bay platform, these plates will be re-used on the running line.

(Edited and posted by Dave Shell. Text and pictures from Baz Shell)

Posted by: wrha | October 25, 2016

Saturday 22nd October 2016

Once again a good turn out of volunteers, and the weather was kind to us.

With bright sunshine a joint decision was made to complete the 60 ft. Panel at the tunnel gate.

Tom continued to work on the Fowler.

The p.w. trolley was again in use to transport the “new” sleepers that were removed from the run-round-line to the worksite, with the Permaquip following with the p.w. tools, Peter hitched a lift down to to tunnel mouth to continue his excellent work cleaning out the drainage channels.

Another seven sleepers with PAN11 chairs where installed to complete the panel, this leaves the running line 25ft from the security fence/gate.

A quick debate was held to see if it was agreeable to install the remaining length, but it seems a “tunnel viewing platform” could be planned.

This would allow passengers to safely exit the railbus and photograph the tunnel entrance.

This could depend on the bus remaining at Whitope in 2017.

After lunch a quick check to see if all was completed to a high standard and the work site cleared of all p.w. tools and pieces, working back towards the crossing we picked up all p.w. material and stored it on the trailer for sorting later.

With everything put away and secured we had an early finish as the A7 was closed and the traffic diverted along our road which brought in some passing trade.

Please report any broken images

Looking North

Please report any broken images

60ft panel


Posted by: wrha | October 18, 2016

Quick update

Just a short update for the moment.

Work has been continuing on tidying up the 20t brake van; the solebar has been needle gunned and given a coat of primer, and a start has been made on topcoating in black. There has also been a start made on inspecting the wood work to see what is required here.

The Fowler team continue with work to bring this loco back into service.

There has also been continuation on track work, with further ballesting planned over the next few months.

We will try and update and post some further pictures as soon as we can. (DMS)

Posted by: wrha | October 10, 2016

Latest work from this weekend

A good number of volunteers attended the seasons end of passenger operation for 2016, but anyone turning up at Whitrope are assured of a trip along the line if staff and plant are available, you are even more welcome if you bring a pair of overalls !
On Saturday Tom and Peter continued the cleaning and refurbishment of the guards van.

On Sundays work usually continues to get the Fowler engine together and running; however this Sunday, with George being poorly, Rod and Davy elected to assist Baz in placing more wood sleepers in the 60ft section of the running line beside the tunnel.

The sleepers where transported down to the unfinished section on the PWay type B trolley as it is lower than the Permaquip Trailer for lifting purposes.

The Permaquip followed carrying all the associated tools, and over half the length was sleepered, chaired with Pan 11s screwed down and clipped up ,we aim to lay track right to the gate and construct a small platform and hard pathway to the tunnel mouth.

Passenger service continued all day, with the railbus being double crewed and Ian as crossing keeper, at the end of the day the railbus was stabled in the stock siding behind the brake coach, and the Ruston and guards van placed at the West end of the platform on the running line to assist entry for its renovation.

The end of passenger running does not mean we can now put our feet up, at lot of work is planned over the lay-up so we pray for a mild winter.

Thank you to the Sunday crew for continuing to support the passenger carrying season, and all the other volunteers for their input.

(Words by Baz, edited by Dave)

Wooden sleepers are seen on the Type B trolley ready to be moved up to the head of steel

Davey and Rod are seen working on the extension

The train crew

Drilling the new wooden sleepers to take chair screws

The petrol impact wrench is used to insert the chair screws to hold down the Pan11 plates

The next sets of Pan11 plates with chair screws ready to be screwed down

Pandrol clips are laid out out ready to be insert into the Pan11 plates

Posted by: wrha | September 28, 2016

Association AGM

Please note that the date of the AGM has been postponed until November – more details once we have been furnished with them…


Posted by: wrha | September 19, 2016

Rolling stock news

The brake van is receiving attention with the chassis being needle gunned and given a coat of primer and underframe black top coat. It has also been moved round to make it easier to work on and also to bounce the springs and brake gear to free them off.

Baz Shell is seen on the 20t brake

There will be more rolling stock news soon… 


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