Monday 31st July 2023

We are back after a holiday break, but that doesn’t mean to say that things have been at a standstill.

New cotter fitted to one of FR 20's crossheads alongside an old cotterFirstly, FR 20’s front right hand cylinder cover and piston head should now be back at Williton after repair, for machining. We have the above photograph, courtesy of West Somerset Restoration of one of the old crosshead cotters (left) and a new crosshead cotter fitted snugly into place. So things are progressing with the repair and re-assembly of FR 20. This has obviously given the Pontypool & Blaenavon Railway confidence to advertise FR 20’s participation in their three-day Gala on the 8th-10th September.

5643's vacuum cylinder removed from within the framesBack at Preston the dismantling of GWR 0-6-2T No. 5643, in connection with its ten-year boiler overhaul, has continued with the removal of its vacuum cylinder, which has been plucked out from within the frames.

Sam working to remove on of 5643's radial springsSam is seen here working to remove one of the radial wheel springs.

Fred demonstrating that a cup wire brush has to be completely bald before asking for a new brush!Meanwhile Fred has once again been busy removing old paint and dirt from components. As can be seen here, he doesn’t ask for a new cup wire brush until the old brush is completely bald!

Anne and Phil Burton working on the upholstery in the guard's compartment of GER No. 5Work has also continued apace on the completion of the restoration of Great Eastern Railway royal saloon No. 5. Anne and Phil Burton have been working on upholstering the guard’s compartment.

John Davis fitting chenille at the east end of the east saloon of GER No. 5Whilst John Davies and Tim have been busy fitting the remainder of the chenille on the side panels of the east saloon and corridor.

John Dixon cleaning up the corridor floor of GER No. 5Sam has completed the wiring of the lights and Phil Bell has started to lay the linoleum on the kitchen floor. John Dixon has been removing old wood and nails from the corridor floor.

A plywood floor base is being laid before the carpet is fitted in GER No. 5He has then commenced the job of laying a plywood base in readiness for the fitting of the new carpet.

Latest Iron HorseFinally, FRT Members should now be receiving the latest edition of The Iron Horse magazine.

Monday 11th July 2023

First, we start with the good news that Cast Iron Welding Services of Coalville have now been able to submit a price for the repair of Furness Railway No. 20’s right hand piston and front cylinder cover, which has been accepted. This part of the overall repair should be completed in the next three weeks after which it will be possible to reassemble the motion. Once completed and tested, FR 20 will be able to continue its hire to the Pontypool & Blaenavon Railway. Operating dates will be published once they can be confirmed.

5643 now down to a rolling chassisBack at Preston, work has started in earnest on 5643’s rolling chassis which is now located in the main FRT shed. Removal of the bunker for the first time in preservation has revealed some wasted angle support which is now being cut away so that it can be replaced.

5643's boiler ready to be worked uponThe boiler is now in the outer shed and work on descaling it has also commenced. It is expected that the tubes will now be removed in August.

Ade working on Caliban's valve rod coversAde has once again been working on Caliban and is seen here fitting the valve rod covers.

Alison is arranging for some carpet samples to be brought in for Great Eastern Railway royal saloon No. 5. Measuring up for an estimate will take place this Wednesday.

John Dixon cutting rot from GER No. 5's floorMeanwhile, John Davis spotted some unwelcome rot in the corridor floor last week which John Dixon can be seen cutting out.

Cumbria's ashpan sprinkler in actionOver at Embsay, Hunslet ‘Austerity’ 0-6-0ST Cumbria has been having a boiler wash out. Matt Anderson has taken the opportunity to remove the grate and fit an ashpan sprinkler, which can be seen in action above. Looks good!

The sprinkler take off in the cabThe second photo shows the arrangement in the cab.

Monday 3rd July 2023

5643's boiler is lifted off the frames.The big news this week is that GWR 0-6-2T No. 5643’s boiler was lifted out of the frames for assessment and repair in foul weather last Friday afternoon.

Keith burning off the ashpan retaining boltsPart of the operation involved removing the ashpan from underneath 5643’s firebox before it could be settled down on the weltrol. Keith is seen here applying some heat to release the retaining bolts.

5643's bunker touches downPrior to that, Caliban’s boiler had been lifted to a position alongside the shed to make way for 5643’s boiler on the weltrol. 5643’s bunker has also been lifted off for inspection and repairs.

Ed descales one of 5643's water tanksOther work has continued on 5643 with Ed descaling one of the tanks in between the showers last Wednesday.

Upholstering of the new guard's compartment bench seat in progressUpholstering of Great Eastern Railway royal saloon No. 5 is still in full swing with a glimpse here of work on the new foam bench seat in the guard’s compartment.

John Davis removing a door step and tacks from GER No. 5John Davis has removed the carpet in the east saloon and is seen removing a door step and unwanted tacks from the floor.

John Dixon cleaning the royal sh*t potJohn Dixon has been giving the royal loo a good clean…..

The royal loo seat varnished and ready for a royal bum…..whilst Tim has given the loo seat a coat of varnish – think he got the better of the two jobs!

Finally, for FRT members, just to let you know that Alan has been busy putting together the latest edition of The Iron Horse magazine which, hopefully, should be sent off for printing this week.