Posted by: wrha | December 4, 2011

December Progress

Two signal lamps kindly donated to us the other day. One is from the Down distant at the Holm, while the other is from one of the crossover dollies

This time last year, Whitrope was already in the grip of winter and had been blanketed in snow for about a week. The white stuff doesn’t appear to be in a hurry thus far in 2011, so the opportunity is being taken to crack on with work on site while the weather holds.

No sooner had I typed this blog, than Tony G sent this picture through. The white stuff is back!

Saturday 3rd saw Tony C, Tony G and Dave S complete the rail dragging we didn’t manage to finish on the November track weekend. Pairs of rails are now laid out from the compound opposite the station all the way up to the outer tunnel fence, as well as alongside the concrete sleepers south of the Golden Bridge. This means that we can crack-on with more tracklaying in the spring, initially focussing our attention on the stock siding which will run north out of the compound towards the level crossing, and will give us our first short length of “double track”. Off site, Alastair sourced and cut to length another batch of timbers for use in the next foot crossing at the north end of the station.

The news isn’t so good on the loco front unfortunately. After the power unit was successfully run- up in October/ November, Duncan became aware that traces of water were finding their way into the engine oil. A fair amount of investigation followed, with the culprit eventually found to be a cracked cylinder liner. It looks as if the power unit will need to be lifted out once again, which will delay the loco’s planned return to traffic next summer. This power unit was of course donated from a sister loco, now scrapped, which we know had been involved in a “side-swipe” collision many years ago while still in industrial use, and there’s every chance that’s what caused the damage.

Planning for 2012 continues in the background, and a couple of promising leads for passenger service coaches are being followed- up. Arrival of the platform coper slabs is pencilled- in for February/ March, and training material for the various safety critical roles is being prepared.

Rails laid out south of the Golden Bridge



  1. Sweet.

  2. How does the WRHA manage to get what seem like brand new conc. sleepers & clips etc ?

  3. These sleepers were donated to us last year by a large contracting company from their premises in Carlisle. We are very grateful for their support.

  4. All donations welcome as they allow us to restore more and more of the route! Tony G took some nice snow shots of Whitrope yesterday. Almost looks like Christmas 1969 up there today!

  5. I really enjoy reading your blog and hearing about the progress you are making in such a remote part of the country. I’m a fireman on the KESR, but I love to hear about your progress. Keep up the good work and one day I will pay you a visit and hopefully go for a ride on your classic railway.

    • Say hello to Chris Prior for us and the other guys who were Yardmasters on Beechbrook Farm.


  6. Thanks for the kind words Brett. Yes, 1000 feet up in the Southern Uplands is far removed from Kent and East Sussex! Never visited your railway, or the Bluebell for that matter, but would love the opportunity to do so one day. Bring a Terrier with you when you visit and you can show us your firing skills!

  7. Shame to hear about the loco, I thought it looked like it was breathing a bit in the video of the start up – I can’t remember if they are wet or dry liners on those, will have to check the manual again.

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