Posted by: wrha | December 8, 2019

Saturday 7th December

A good turn out of volunteers saw numerous jobs undertaken across the site.

The team working on the 26 were out in force and continued to progress the repairs to the cab.
Baz was up with a new starter motor for the bug, that he had to import as there were none available over here. With the new starter fitted the bug was run up and given a quick outing to ensure everything was operating correctly.
The Ruston was also run up, as she had not been run for a while. This also allowed anti-freeze to be added to the cooling system ready for winter. Once started she was left to run for a while to ensure that the anti-freeze was well mixed into the coolant system.

The members on site got their first view of the new shed, which will act as the signal box with the recently fitted frame. With the frame protected from the weather, the job of the day was to fit electric lighting in the box. This was successfully completed and by the end of the day the light in new signal box shone out brightly on a very dreich afternoon.
Work on the interlocking mechanism also progressed and hopefully we will be able to fit this back on the frame fairly soon to allow the completion of this part of the project.
There is still still ground works to finish off around the signal box, but overall everyone is really pleased to see the excellent progress on one of the main projects we are currently undertaking.
Overall a very good day with a great deal achieved, despite the wet afternoon.

Posted by: wrha | December 2, 2019

Saturday 30th November

A bright clear day saw a good number of volunteers on site.

The main job of the day was to connect up the signal to the lever frame. This was achieved by shortening one of the wire runs and fixing a bottle screw in the line to allow further adjustment. Then it was testing the run and seeing the signal bounce up into the raised position. It was a good reward for the team that have put in so much work to get the frame to this point.
The interlocking mechanism was retrieved from one of the containers along with it’s covers. These will be the last part of the frame to be restored. There are no plans to use the interlocking mechanism, but it is going to be restored to working order before we fix it to the frame. It is an interesting exercise to see how the mechanism works and how we will be able to repair it.

Further work was done inside the cab of the 26, although there is still a huge amount to do before this area is safe to use.

Elsewhere work continues on the Fowler down in Darley Dale. The bodywork has been removed, as has the power unit. There are a few hurdles to clear now before the new power unit can go in. We are still hopeful that we will see her back at some point next year.

Posted by: wrha | November 24, 2019

Saturday 23rd November

A number of volunteers were on site with the aim of progressing some of the current projects before setting off to the AGM at Hermitage.

The team working on the signal frame completed the assembly of the levers and the end plates, so completing the basic assembly of the signal frame. There is still some work to do to allow the top covers to be reattached, but the frame is once again a working item. The pulleys were fixed in place below the frame and the wire for the signal lever run connected up. This will require some adjustment next weekend to allow the correct tension to be established to operate the signal, but overall the job is advancing very well.

The repairs inside the buffet coach also saw further work. With some of the flooring replaced. Further areas of possible water ingression were identified that will be investigated further.

The afternoon saw the AGM at Hermitage village hall. We were made most welcome with tea coffee and cakes. A good turn out saw a positive meeting with Matt Stoddon standing down as Chairman and Chris Donnelly taking over in the role. Matt is to continue as editor of the society magazine and newsletter. Matt’s hard work and effort to support the association were appreciated and support offered to Chris in his new role.

 

Posted by: wrha | November 17, 2019

Saturday 16th November

 
A good turn out of volunteers saw a lots of projects progressed.

The team working on the signal frame were out in the damp weather re-assembling the frame. It is a fairly tricky job with each part needing slight adjustments as they are assembled to ensure correct operation. By the end of the day most of the frame was assembled with just a couple of elements to install next weekend to complete the re-assembly. The team was joined by new volunteer Mike who seemed to enjoy his day working on the signal frame.

Rod and Davie were in the cab of the 26 carrying out further work on the floor and the structural steelwork. George was applying another coat white paint to the gate posts which are now looking very good.

In the buffet coach Ian carried out further work to identify were the water is ingressing and causing damage. The area of damaged flooring has been removed and will be repaired over the next few weeks. Tom had a good clear out in the office container and it is looking much better at one end, although the other end needs some sorting out.

A good day overall dispite the somewhat poor weather. Next weekend is the AGM at Hermitage Village Hall on Saturday at 14:00.

Posted by: wrha | November 14, 2019

Saturday 9th November

With the weather beginning to cool down and night frosts setting in, the order of the day was to finish checking over the cooling systems of the locos, etc. and prepare them for winter. Antifreeze was added to ‘Pluto’ and allowed to circulate. All stock now has antifreeze in the cooling systems and on the next visit, a check of the strength will be made to ensure we have adequate protection.

During the summer it was apparent that a ‘ soft spot ‘ had developed in the floor of the buffet coach so Ian arrived to investigate. With the floor covering lifted there was an area of rot that has to be repaired. On checking the outside of the coach to find the cause we found the roof drainage channel was blocked with leaves and moss and the channel itself had a join that was allowing rain water to spill into the coach. The channel was cleaned out and a check of the roof showed that it was in good condition although the paint was cracked and flaking. Roofing paint has already been purchased so that will be applied in the next few weeks.

Ian also brought the cleaned and enamelled station bench ends so we can now build a new station bench and have it in place for next season.

A second coat of white paint was applied to the top half of the level crossing gate support pillars. As we are all getting older, bending to lower levels is becoming a problem so the bottom half of the pillars will have to come up to our level and be painted when the trestles are returned to the shed.

Posted by: wrha | October 29, 2019

Saturday 26th October

A lovely autumn day saw a good number of volunteers on site.

The first task of the day was a stock shunt to reposition the stock in the siding for ease of access to various vehicles which will be recieving attention through the winter. This saw all the stock except the Mk1 workshop coach removed from the siding and re-ordered.

Work continued on the signal frame with more coats of paint being applied. A number of the levers are now resplendant in red and white. Further coats will be applied over the next few weeks, then the frame can be re-assembled and commissioned.

The level crossing gate posts had their final coat of primer applied and now await white top coat to finish. The other two post were retreived from storage down by the container and work started on stripping these back so they can be painted once the first two are completed.

Work is also ongoing in the exhibition coach were this years exhibition is being taken down, ready for a refresh for the new season.

Posted by: wrha | October 13, 2019

Saturday 12th October

A small band on site continued with a couple of the ongoing tasks.

The last of the signal frame components were stripped back and painted. With the actual levers also receiving attention all the components for the frame have now reached the state where they are being painted ahead of re-assembly.

The gates for the level crossing also recieved another coat of primer. Work will be able to start on the second set of post in the coming weeks.

With the operating season now finished the current projects will all become the focus for the volunteers on site, so they should see good progress in the coming weeks and months.

Posted by: wrha | October 9, 2019

Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th October

The weekend was the last days of this years operating season, another summer flown by. The weekend saw a reasonable number of visitors over both days which was pleasing as the weather wasn’t great, particularly on the Sunday.

Whilst the visitors were looked after a number of the volunteers on site continued with some of the ongoing jobs. Rod and Davie were working on the 26. They began by carrying out repairs to try and make the cab they are working on more weather tight. Then work continued on the floor structure they are fabricating to provide a save floor in this cab.

Progress continues on the signal frame with more components cleaned and painted ready for re-assembly. The pile of untouched bits is ever descreasing so hopefully we are not far away from being able to start to assemble the structure.

The level crossing gate posts also recieved some attention, with Davie welding a small strengthening plate on. They have been moved to the ticket office shed were they can be painted in the dry.

Overall a good weekend despite the iffy weather. Finally a big thank you to all the people who have worked as guards, drivers, second-men, platform staff, buffett staff and in the exhibition. Without your dedication there would be no operating railway.

Here to the next operating season and all it will bring.
The volunteers will still be on site most Saturdays to work on the various projects so if you are passing feel free to pop in and say hello.

 

Posted by: wrha | October 2, 2019

Saturday 28th September

A very pleasant day saw a reasonable number of volunteers on site working on a number of projects.
Work was carried out on the brake van brake gear, with all the linkages cleaned up and lubricated. The brake van was then given a few runs along the line with the brakes being applied to ensure that the lubrication could work through all areas.
Baz was up and carried out some work on the bug, with RB004 also being run up.
Progress was made on the signal frame with a number of components cleaned and painted ready for re-assembly.

We had a full day filming with ITV on Saturday 21st as Border TV wanted to include our activities in their Border Life programme to be broadcast in the near future.
The local volunteers made a special effort to be up the hill early but the TV crew beat us! They had already been on the platform and were heading for Golden Bridge on our arrival and that was at quarter past nine.
We were recorded carrying out a full range of duties, including collecting and shunting the LMS wagon so that work can resume on the restoration. Also, recordings were made inside the museum with Alan giving an insight to the collection. The 26, was next to have a starring role with Davy fabricating a new floor frame. At lunchtime we were all in the buffet coach with Alan asking the team how work was progressing in the various restorations that are being undertaken. The tunnel was visited, with filming undertaken both on the loco footplate and guards van as well as a trip to Riccarton Junction where Bill was interviewed by Sandy McCracken..
As with all filming there were re-takes and camera re-positioning, and probably everything that was recorded, once cut together, will bear no resemblance to the day . It was a full day at that; the crew left us at five o’clock and were heading to Shankend Viaduct to finalise the day’s shooting.

On Monday the 23rd, two of our members, John Shaw and John Heaney, came down from Fife complete with a car load of cut timber to erect a new picnic table for the platform. John Shaw had purchased the timber and cut it to size. The table was erected and a first coat of preservative paint applied. Whilst this was going on, Jim took the chance to paint the base of the signal lever frame.
Tuesday morning, being dry, further coats of preservative were applied to the table before the rain arrived at lunchtime. The donated picnic table now looks resplendent sitting on the platform and will be made full use of in future seasons.

Posted by: wrha | September 20, 2019

Whitrope Update

It has been a very busy few weeks at Whitrope with a couple of running weekends and some group visits. Both RB004 and the ‘planet’ have been in action. The railway has received visits from a local ‘mg’ club and a land-rover group. With the railway providing an ideal break on drive outs.

Whilst we have been busy with visitors progress has still been made on a number of projects including the signal frame. With the platform for the signal frame complete the base of the signal frame has been placed into position. Work on the component parts of the frame is also advancing, which will hopefully allow for re-assembly in the not too distant future.

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