Monday 28th October 2019

There is more steady progress to report this week at Preston.

John Dixon with FR 20's tender cab floorJohn Dixon has been working on FR 20’s tender footplate. It was originally slightly short of metal on the up-curve next to the coal hole, which had previously been overcome with the temporary expedient (20 years ago!) of being filled with fibreglass. Over time some of the fibreglass has broken up and so a proper job is now being undertaken this time around.

Phil Bell cleaning one of FR 20's tender brake hangersTim continues to prepare the tender tank and outside frames for painting whilst the brake rigging is also in the process of receiving a fresh coat of paint and Phil Bell is seen cleaning up one of the brake hangers.

Fred cleaning one of FR 20's brake pinsFred has been cleaning up some of the brake pins.

Roger reaching to places where no others have penetrated for yearsMeanwhile Roger has been undertaking a long overdue clear out of the rear storage box on the tender, reaching into areas where no one has dared to explore for years!

John Davis adjusting Fluff's cab pedalFluff is slowly going back together and John Davis is pictured adjusting the cab foot pedal under the watchful gaze of Howard and John Dixon.

Ade lifts one of Caliban's axleboxes into positionAde has again been attending to the axleboxes on Caliban.

Keith shaping one of Wootton Hall's injector delivery pipesKeith has been shaping the injector delivery pipes for Wootton Hall.

Keith has also been over to Embsay where 5643 sprung a steam leak at a joint with the main steam pipe a couple of weeks ago. A loose stud was eventually found to be the cause of the problem and, after Keith had fitted a replacement, the locomotive was successfully tested this week. A wash out is now due before the start of the Santa Specials, so please let Keith know if you are able to assist.


Monday 21st October 2019

It has been another week of working away steadily at the FRT’s ongoing projects.

Firstly we can report that, after a thorough clean and re-paint, FR 20’s front tender drag box is in the process of reassembly. The heavy buffing spring was lifted back into position and then the even heavier drag box cover plate was put back on Friday. John Dixon giving FR 20' s tender some thoughtJohn Dixon is seen here giving the matter some deep thought!

The engine spring that was removed from FR 20 the previous week was despatched to the spring manufacturer last Wednesday to act as a template for replacement narrower springs which George, after undertaking a complex calculation, has deemed appropriate for the job. Phil Bell and John Davis work to remove a brake hanger on FR 20's tenderUnderneath the tender, John Davis and Phil Bell have dismantled the right hand tender brake hangers for cleaning and painting and to give access to the frames. This has created further work for Fred who will no doubt be pleased to learn that a new batch of cup wire brushes has arrived!

Ade has been busy fettling the axlebox lubrication on Caliban whilst there has been further progress on cleaning the frames and axleboxes on Fluff. Howard happy at his workHoward seems very happy at his work on Fluff.

And finally, Keith has been assembling more pipework in Wootton Hall‘s cab.


Monday 14th October 2019

It has been one of those weeks where work has been steady but generally unspectacular in the way of results.

FR 20’s tender continues to be sanded down by Tim, who is taking the opportunity to sort out the odd blemish in the steelwork with filler that time did not permit first time around.

Roger painting the interior of FR 20's front tender drag boxWork on the tender front drag box is progressing well with Roger applying a top coat of paint to the interior.

John Dixon painting the cover for the tender drag box on FR 20John Dixon has been putting top coat black to the draw bar, buffing spring and also the drag box cover.

Fred cleaning up FR 20's hand brake with John Davis on the leftFred has been cleaning up the tender handbrake (foreground) whilst John Davis (left) has been cleaning up axleboxes from Fluff.

One of FR 20's engine springsTim, Alan and Adrian gathered to jack up the rear of FR 20’s engine in order to release a spring. This is to be sent away to act as a pattern for a narrower set of springs that will be more appropriate to the engine’s weight, which has reduced to 25 tons rather than the 36 tons it had been as a saddletank.

Newly fitted splasher supporting one of Wootton hall's nameplatesKeith has completed the metalwork for the new splashers for Wootton Hall, one of which is seen supporting one of its nameplates.

Secondhand ejector elbow for Wootton HallKeith was able to purchase from the Worth Valley Railway a second-hand ejector elbow..

Second-hand firehole door mechanism for Wootton Hall.. and also second-hand firehole door mechanism for Wootton Hall.

There was also more work carried out on Caliban.

Finally, for those of you who use Amazon to purchase goods, you may be interested to learn that if you opt to use the Amazon Smile web site instead, you can make a small donation to the Furness Railway Trust on every item that you purchase. You should find making the Furness Railway Trust as your preferred charity a fairly simple task.

Monday 7th October 2019

Work has continued on Furness Railway No. 20 this week. Andy Booth has completed his work on the tubes and we need to think about fitting blanks ready for a hydraulic test. There are a couple of corner firebox screws to attend to as well.

John Dixon with the magnetic drillJohn Dixon has been creating a bar to be fitted on to the floor of the front tender drag box to support the buffing spring. He is seen here at work with the magnetic drill.

John Davis and Phil Bell under FR 20's tenderPhil Bell, seen with John Davis, has continued his work below the tender frames which includes the dismantling of some of the brake rigging to allow access to the frames and for cleaning.

Tim sands down FR 20's tenderTim has continued the task of sanding down the tender paintwork.

Alan and Adrian with a new felt pad in one of Caliban's axleboxesAdrian and Alan have been engaged on the task of fitting new felt lubrication pads into Caliban‘s axleboxes.

Howard filingWe haven’t seen many photographs of Howard lately so here is one of him filing down a metal insert into Fluff‘s new running board.

John Davis cleaning up one of Fluff's springsJohn Davis has been cleaning up Fluff‘s springs.

One of Wootton Hall's tender axlebox bearings in the process of being machinedWork has also continued this week on Wootton Hall‘s new splashers and the machining the newly white-metalled tender bearings, one of which is shown here.

The 'new' CNC machine arrivesA second-hand CNC machine, the purchase cost being subscribed to by the FRT, arrived at Preston on Wednesday and has been positioned in the RSR workshop.

The Ribble Steam Railway Diesel Gala took place last weekend and Class 14 D9539 hauled one of the evening trains for the Folk Evening.

Geoff Middleton ready to pipe in the last Folk TrainGeoff Middleton was on hand to pipe in the last train.

Can you believe it???Meanwhile brother Alan entertained as a one man band.

Cumbria back in actionOver at Embsay, Cumbria made a successful return to traffic with the Sunday dining train (thanks to the Embsay loco group’s Facebook for the picture) while 5643 is lined up for a few repairs this week.

Finally, don’t forget the annual Barrow Model Railway exhibition which takes place at Barrow’s 6th Form College this weekend.