Posted by: wrha | May 2, 2019

Saturday 27th April

Saturday was mixed, dry morning  and showers in the afternoon.

Alan continued working on the refreshed exhibition for the museum. Bill and John tided up the car park area.

Joe did some landscaping, grass cutting and put in some more concrete fence posts heading for bridge 199.

There was a good team working on the LMS wagon which saw reasonable progress made.

Some signal levers were moved to the MK1 coach and a start made on their strip-down but it didn’t get too far.  The levers have been left to have a good soak in release oil, so hopefully better progress can be made next weekend.

Sorry no pictures this week hopefully should be back to normal next week.

Posted by: wrha | April 22, 2019

Saturday 20th April

A glorious day at Whitrope marked the first day of the new season with the centre officially open to visitors. Unfortunately the lack of running motive power has restricted opportunities in terms of train rides as the stock is currently stabled in the platform. There was the chance for a ride in the ‘bug’ up and down the line towards the cutting, which a few visitors participated in.
The visitor centre was open with the exhibition given a refresh for the new season. In the platform the brake van was open for visitors to see how the restoration of the vehicle is progressing.

The volunteers on site also advanced a number of jobs that could be undertaken. Work continued on the LMS wagon with the sole-bar wire brushed and painted. More work was done on the foundations for the signal frame, with the area under where the frame will sit dug out, hard work on a very hot day at Whitrope. The walls are now ready for the timbers to be affixed ready for the lever frame.

Elsewhere on site repairs were carried out on the Saxa van body with new bitumen sheets laid on the roof to repair damage caused by the storms over the winter. The site clean up continued with some more areas addressed.

The big news from the last few days is the arrival on site of the plant to clear the area near bridge 200 which has be designated as the area for a future running shed. Currently the work will focus on leveling and tidying up this area to provide a flat working zone. Once the area is prepared the containers from the area south of the cottage will be moved to here. With the area becoming the focus for maintenance and restoration work.

Overall a good day with the centre also open on Sunday. The next operating weekend will be May 4th and 5th, so why not pop along and see how things are progressing.

Posted by: wrha | April 15, 2019

Saturday 13th April

A good turn out of volunteers on site meant that a large number of different jobs were on the go.

In the station area the preparations for the new season continued with the inside of the coaches given a good tidy out ready for our visitors. This alongside the continuing general site clear-up is making the whole area look much improved.

Malcolm was up working on the brake van, with a flooring laid inside which looks very smart. This vehicle will be open to the public on operating days, so the push is on to complete a number of jobs.

Baz was up and trimmed the sleeper fence to height that was put up last week for the signal frame. He also carried out a number of repairs and some general maintenance on the bug.

The group working on the 26 removed the driver and second man seats from the cab to allow access to the floor. A number of areas of rotten metalwork were cut out of the floor and these will be replaced with new metal. Some work was also carried out around the roof in the cab to allow this to be repaired so the cab will be watertight.

In between all the hard work time was found to consume a birthday cake that was brought up to celebrate George’s birthday, and very nice it was too.

Posted by: wrha | April 7, 2019

Saturday 6th April

Another busy Saturday with a number of jobs undertaken as the start of the new season approaches fast.

The work on the signal frame foundation continued. The walling was infilled and cement poured in to ensure the signal frame was a good base. With construction of the walling completed some back filling took place. A small sleeper wall was constructed just behind the walling to allow the required back filling to be stabilized. The plan being to allow level access from the platform to the frame allowing visitors to see the signalling in action.

The inside of the brake van was tidied up as the work continues to progress. The site tidy up continued with the bug being used to collect materials from the area south of bridge 200. This is an area that the forestry commission are currently working in and have laid a roadway access down to the culvert by bridge 200.

The fencing on the platform was re-constructed with the uprights put back. There is still some painting and other jobs to do but the area already looks much improved.

Posted by: wrha | April 2, 2019

Saturday 30th March

With a number of jobs on the go the volunteers on site had a busy day.

The team working on the signal frame foundation walls made good progress and by the end of the day all the walls were complete to full height. There is still some infilling to do, but that part of the job is basically complete. The next part of the job will be completing ground levels and fixing timbers in place for the signal frame.

The floor was lifted in the Ruston and parts of the gearbox opened up so the inside could be inspected. Unfortunately it appears that the whole gearbox will need to come out to allow repairs to be undertaken. This will obviously be a big job and decisions around how best to proceed must be made.

Elsewhere work continues around the station area in preparation for the new season, which is now approaching fast. The fencing at the end of the platform being a current focus and this should start to come together over the next couple of weekends.

Some more work was done on the LMS wagon with some more of the under-frame primed. Davie also continued work on the class 26 with an inspection made of the other cab to access the work needed there.

Overall another busy day with good progress made across the site.


Posted by: wrha | March 26, 2019

Saturday 23rd March

With the weather stopping any real work last Saturday, a keen team were on site to try and make up for the lost day.

After some work on the excavator to try and remedy a fuel problem we got it running. This was then used to place the diesel tank in the bund tank that was put in place the other weekend. There is a little more work to finish this job off, but everything is now usable.

More courses were laid for the signal frame foundation and the back wall is now at full height. Hopefully the side wall will be completed next weekend and the focus can shift to restoring the actual signal frame.

The site tidy up continued with the area of the platform nearest the car park cleaned up and materials all stored away.

A number of other jobs were undertaken on what was a busy day up the hill.

Posted by: wrha | March 10, 2019

Saturday 9th March

A day of sunshine and snow showers saw a good turn out of volunteers.

Work progressed on the bund for the fuel tank. The fuel tank was lifted off it’s stand and the sleepers spread to provide a base for the bund. This was then lifted in and a couple of short sleepers laid inside to act as a base for the fuel tank. Unfortunately the excavator was playing up again and kept starving of fuel, so the job took a bit longer than planned. The lift for the fuel tank will have to wait until next weekend.

An attempt was made to move some of the stock around, but unfortunately the clutch on the Ruston which has been an issue for a while finally gave up so the stock move had to be cancelled. The Ruston will now need to be stripped down and the problem fully diagnosed.

Further progress was made with the general site tidy up with more of the scrap metal removed from site. The general area is starting to look much better but there is still plenty to do.

Posted by: wrha | March 3, 2019

Saturday 2nd March

A mixed day weather wise at Whitrope with a pleasant morning, but the forecast rain arrived a little early about 2 o’clock. This lead to a fairly early close of play.

One of the main jobs of the day was to work on the large tank we have acquired which is going to act as a bund for our diesel tank. The tank needed some work to reinforce the cross members to support the diesel tank. This was an ideal job, reliving his ship building days working inside big horrible tanks. A number of upright braces were welded in place to ensure the tank is strong enough to support the main fuel tank. The rain came on just as the welding was completed so the rest of the task of positioning this tank and dropping the diesel tank in will have to wait until next weekend.

Jim progressed the work on the signal foundation walls with the wall now locked into the station platform, again further progress was disrupted by the rain.

Further work was done inside the cab of the class 26, with the floor stripped out. This allows the area to be carefully examined so a detailed schedule of repairs can be complied. The cab has suffered from a large amount of corrosion so a number of the supporting members will need to be replaced or repaired to allow the cab to be structurally sound so the floor can be rebuilt.

Some work was undertaken on the LMS wagon and a couple of other projects.
The site tidy up tasks continued with more waste collected from around the area.
A successful day with a good amount of progress made on a number of fronts.

Posted by: wrha | February 25, 2019

Saturday 23rd February

An unseasonably warm day at Whitrope brought out a good number of volunteers as well as the crocus in the station flowerbeds.

Work continued around the site on the general tidy up, with a fire again going down by the containers to dispose of some of the materials. The stock siding was given a tidy whilst free of stock and the area looks much better.
With the warm weather the paint brushes were out with work underway on the buffet coach roof and the station fencing. There is still plenty of work to complete before the station area is ready for the new season so hopefully the good weather will stay around.

Posted by: wrha | February 17, 2019

Saturday 16th February

A busy day at Whitrope with a large turn out of volunteers and numerous jobs on the go.

The excavator was up and running having had the puncture repaired during in the week. This allowed it to spread the last of the aggregate across the loading area and compact the materials down. With the loading area finished the stock could be moved out of the stock siding so the Fowler could be freed.

The first item out was the class 26, which was lifted out by the Ruston. Once out of the stock siding the 26 was placed on the running line near the platform. Davie in the meantime was busy cutting through the weld to remove the access ladder from the Mk1 workshop coach. With the ladder removed the Ruston lifted the Mk1 and it got a very rare run out, being placed on the running line near the class 26. With the stock out of the siding the Ruston was able to couple up to the Fowler ready to lift it out. For the first time in a long time the Fowler was removed from the stock siding ready for collection.

Whilst the shunting was underway various other jobs were undertaken around the site. Malc cut and attached new plywood panels to the guards van, which is really starting to look good. Pete continued working on a water supply to pipe water to the platform area. Davy continued work to removed loose paint and rust from the steel work of the LMS wagon. Chris carried out weeding of the running line near the tunnel. Bill burned the rotten timbers from the LMS wagon. Jim removed the last concrete blocks that were put on the signal frame wall as the post-crete used swelled and cracked the blocks and cement joints.Some work was also done to remove a block from the platform wall to tie in the new block-work.

A really busy day with lots of work underway across the site.


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