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. Photo captions to follow)

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… 


Posted by: wrha | September 19, 2016

More news!

Baz Shell informs me that further track work was undertaken yesterday (18th) and the panel near the tunnel is now connected.

60ft rails now plated up and clipped into place

As mentioned previously there are only a limited number of sleepers in this panel as we are low on supplies; the appeal is still running for track materials as we also need further pan11 plates, clips, fishplates and ballast to be able to bring this section of track into regular use. We are also always looking out for new volunteers to boost the numbers. If you’d like to assist with either please drop us a line.

Posted by: wrha | September 19, 2016

Recent news & works:

We apologise for the recent lack of updates here; these have been due to personal circumstances of some of the admin. We currently have a temporary team in place until things are resolved. Please bear with us.

Anyway; You may recall from a recent post that work had taken place to clear and prepare the trackbed formation near the tunnel portal compound, and that rails had been moved here.
Well, while waiting for wagons to arrive with materials, Dave, Baz & Jim undertook some more work in this area with 5 new wooden sleepers being recovered from the loop line (currently unused, and these sleepers will be replaced with older ones from the running line).

These sleepers were set out with wide spacing mainly just to hold and align the rails of the panel. The 60ft rails that were out ready were then hauled along using cable and a winch to get positioning; the left hand rail is now in place with a few Pandrol clips holding it, the right hand rail needs pulling north a bit and then put into the chairs. The panel will then be slewed so the ends meet and will be fitted with fishplates. This will be completed during a future works weekend.

Anyone wondering why we are using wooden sleepers rather than concrete on the Northern running line – it’s really down to the ability to handle the items. Wooden sleepers can be moved by two people (as long as they’ve had their wheatabix) whereas concretes are a bit heavier and really require mechanical aides. If anyone has a spare RRV 360• excavator then please drop us a line!

The work stopped as Boyd’s wagon had arrived with the panels from Methil. There are 3 30ft panels of flat bottom rail on concrete sleepers with Pandrol clips. These will be stripped and the materials used for future track work developments. Ballast has also been delivered so that continuation can be made of the programme to ballast and pack the running line towards the tunnel.

All of these works, and the materials involved cost money. We are in requirement of further track ballast, wooden sleepers, and p-way components such as fish plates and clips.


wooden sleepers fitted with pan11 plates recovered from the future loop line

The permaquip and trailer are seen newr the head of steel, the wooden sleepers are about to be laid out in the area for the extension

Looking north towards the tunnel the rails can be seen in the 4ft ready to be moved

the rails have been pulled down using a chain pull and wire ropes

the first rail has been turned in and clipped up

Jim and Baz tidy the tools back into the permaquip

Panels are unloaded from the wagon

Panels and rail unloaded and stored ready for developments

Posted by: wrha | July 30, 2016

Membership renewals

WRHA members, please be advised that Monday 1st August is renewal day for membership subscriptions.

If you don’t currently pay by standing order, a renewal form is available to download from the membership page of the main website, link below.



Posted by: wrha | July 26, 2016

Groundworks & grading

Saturday 23rd July

A good day weather wise. After a little bit of shunting the Permaquip Patrolmen’s trolley and its trailer were loaded up with tools and equipment and set off for the head of steel at the Northern end of the main running line.

The team then set about removing more of the moss and other growth from the track bed near the tunnel portal compound. The ballast was scraped to loosen the remaining original ballast bed and then graded the best they could with the tools available.

The drainage ditch in this area has had some work, but the area is still wet so further work will be required on future work days.

Once lifting equipment is available sleepers will be loaded onto the trailer and moved to this area and set out ready to construct a new panel.

As always these works depend on volunteer labour and donations. Details of how you can help with either are available via the main website,

Posted by: wrha | July 16, 2016

The first two weeks of July

Saturday 2nd. The bracing salt laden air and the weather at Methil have not helped the guards van structure. All the brake linkages were seized with rust; these were freed off and the brakes now work via the hand wheel inside the van. The rigging will require stripping and overhaul at some point in the future though, before regular use. The van had been used as a storage area at Methil for various items, so the Ruston 48DS was coupled to the van and pulled around opposite Northumbria Rail’s brake carriage and the re-usable items transferred to a new home inside it. The guards van was then positioned alongside the platform for easy access to allow final cleaning out.

Saturday 9th. A rather wet day! The branches and logs from a previous work day felling were cleared to one side, off the work area, to allow us to see the two 60 ft lengths of rail. These were coupled to the Ruston by shackles and chains and pulled into the “four-foot” of the running line out of the way for the moment to allow the area to be cleared and sub-base to be put down before the sleepers and rail are put in place.

Future work for July: It is planned to prepare the area near the tunnel for track work so we will need to dispose of cut scrub and such like. The area also needs attention to the drainage ditches. The brake van needs some tidying up and attention to the body work (including modifications to the balcony doors) before it can be used regularly.

Below are several images from the North British Railway Study Group’s recent visit to Whitrope.

Posted by: wrha | June 1, 2016

New stock arrives at Whitrope.

After a very unusual route the brake van from Fife has arrived at the railway. The journey from Methil involved a lay over in Stoke! With two cranes needed to lift the brake van onto the rails, it was quite a big job. The first task was to move the concrete blocks from near the level crossing to allow the trailer access to the position required for the lift. With the brake in position the crane unit then edged down the track-bed into position for the lift. With both cranes working together the brake van was slowly lift off the trailer and onto the rails at it’s new home at Whitrope.
Once again thanks to Jeffray Wotherspoon and all the crew at Methil for the loan of these items.

Older Posts »