Monday 24th June 2019

We can announce this week that the Annual General Meeting of the Furness Railway Trust will be held in the FRT shed at Chain Caul Road, Preston at 7.30 pm on Tuesday, 16th July 2019. The Accounts for 2018 have been passed by the Independent Examiner and the Annual Report duly approved by the Trustees. Printing of these is currently in full swing and should be sent out before the end of this week. It is taking up a lot of time so consequently the blog is somewhat shorter in detail this week! In addition, we can report that the latest edition of The Iron Horse is also in the course of being printed but will be sent out separately a little later.

Phil Bell cleaning FR 20's framesWork has continued at Preston on the overhaul of FR 20 with further preparation for painting. Phil Bell is seen here cleaning the inside of the frames.

John Dixon cleaning under supervision by AdeJohn Dixon (supervised by Ade) has been cleaning the rear running plate around the reverser and also underneath the engine’s drag box and the latter was duly painted with Roger’s help on Friday. Fred and Tim have been cleaning and preparing Caliban‘s wheels for painting.

Howard with the seized clutch control assembly for FluffVarious components from Fluff are still receiving attention including the seized clutch control assembly which has been presenting a challenge to Howard.

Finally for this week, outside John Davis has continued his work cleaning up the metal on the new tender tank for Wootton Hall.

Monday 17th June 2019

Alan removes a burr from FR 20's piston rodFR 20’s overhaul continues with Alan carrying out work to reduce the ‘clatter’ from the right hand crosshead. He is seen here removing a burr from the piston rod end. John has continued to clean up components and paint them ready for fitting, including the hornstays whilst Phil Bell has been cleaning the frames and reverser quadrant and Tim has applied gloss Indian Red to the wheels.

Jim Hanmer with Fluff's engineJim Hanmer and Alan Preston have made a prompt start to overhauling Fluff‘s engine in the RSR workshop. Jim is seen here with the engine where all the pistons and liners have been removed.

The first piston removed from Fluff's engineExtracting the pistons from the liners has proved to be a challenge with something like four tons of force being required to remove the first. The piston rings were found to have seized solid.

Three of Fluff's pistons to be removed from their linersThe other pistons and liners await their turn.

Paul Balshaw and Phil Scales under FluffiPaul Bradshaw and Phil Scales have continued their work on Fluff’s frames.

Ade paints Caliban's framesAde has finally found time away from helping others to apply some gloss paint to Caliban’s frames.

Finally, Keith went back over to Embsay on Saturday to find 5643 chuffing away happily but Cumbria suffering from another bout of injectoritis and issues with the steam brake. A plan has been formed which hopefully will see Cumbria back in traffic soon.


Monday 10th June 2019

Line up of wheelsetsAs reported in last week’s blog, the seven wheelsets that were sent away for machining have returned and the photo shows a grand line up outside the FRT shed with the new tender tank for Wootton Hall┬áin the background.

Left to right are the three wheelsets from the Hall’s tender, Caliban’s two wheelsets and then those for FR 25 which weren’t sent away.

FR 20's tender whelsets being readied for paintingInside the shed were FR 20’s newly machined tender wheelsets which were being readied for painting.

Alan Vernon squeezes Fluff's engine out of the shedWednesday saw Fluff’s engine removed from its frames to the RSR workshop for overhaul. It was a tricky operation in confined spaces so hats off to Alan Vernon who is seen here reversing the fork lift truck back down the shed after the successful lift.

Fluff enginelessThe engine-less frames looked pretty rusty but it wasn’t long before members started to attack the rust ready for preventative paintwork to be applied.

Phil Scales attacking Fluff's frames with a needle gunPhil Scales was attacking the rust on the outside of the frames with a needle gun on Wednesday.

Phil Bell cleaning FR 20's motionMeanwhile Phil Bell was to be seen cleaning FR 20’s motion.

Steve Davies and Japanese partySteve Davies, former director of the National Railway Museum paid us a visit on Wednesday with a Japanese party who are in the process of building a old replica train back in Japan. They had spent the previous day at Embsay and been hauled there by the Trust’s ‘Austerity’ Cumbria.

Keith with a new plate for Wootton Hall's tender tank.Keith was busy making up a new piece of plate for Wootton Hall‘s tender tank.

Bob Thomson working on Wootton Hall's reverserOn Friday Bob Thomson was working on a component for Wootton Hall‘s new reverser.

Roger Benbow and FR 20's crinolinesRoger Benbow is seen here continuing his work on painting the crinolines for FR 20.

Over at Embsay the washout and maintenance work for 5643 has been proceeding. Keith and Fred completed the main washout work on Saturday, which itself proved to be a washout and caused our volunteers to get very wet! 5643’s boiler has now been boxed up and filled with water, but Keith will be heading back to Embsay again on Thursday to attend to some maintenance issues in the smokebox.

Whilst at Embsay this week, Keith learned the sad news of the death in April of Charles Boylan at the age of 65. ‘Big Charlie’ as he was affectionately known came to Haverthwaite in the late 1970s with a group from Embsay and subsequently went on to be employed at Haverthwaite before working at the Dolly Blue Mill. He then joined the Cumbria Police up the west coast before transferring to the British Transport Police at Preston. On retirement he became a teaching assistant. Charles had continued to volunteer at Embsay, with the P Way Gang, but also confessed to having played Father Christmas on the Santa Specials. Charles was a big affable guy with a great sense of humour and we are sure that he will be missed at Embsay. Our condolences go to his wife Christine and family.

Monday 3rd June 2019

We are back after the Bank Holiday break with a short update.

Work has continued on the various ongoing projects at Preston.

John Davis attacking the rivetsJohn Davis is seen here driving out rivets on the shovel plate in the new tender tank for Wootton Hall.

Howard measures up Caliban's axle boxes for new lidsHoward has been measuring up for new axle box lids for Caliban.

Paul Balshaw scrapes rust from Fluff's framesPaul Balshaw is seen scraping rust from Fluff‘s frames.

Examination of FR 20’s cylinders and piston rings has continued with some debate now as to whether the rings actually need changing. Underneath, the job of cleaning frames and motion continues.

Alison's cakesAlison provided us with some leftover cakes a week last Wednesday from the previous night’s Trustees’ meeting, a photo of which we include for Adrian’s benefit(!).

The seven wheelsets that were sent away for machining were finally delivered back to Preston last Friday afternoon, which will open the way for further work on Wootton Hall‘s tender, FR 20’s tender and Caliban.

Finally, over at Embsay, Keith and Fred have been undertaking a wash-out on 5643. Keith will also be going back this Thursday and next weekend to attend to a leaking gasket on one of the superheater elements and to prepare 5643 for traffic again. Meanwhile, as locomotives do when they know that you are dependent on them, Cumbria broke a spring which took two days of hard labour for Embsay’s gang to sort over the last weekend.