Monday 25th March 2024

A short catch up this week. That is not to say that work is not continuing apace as usual.

Keith has been drilling out more stays in the firebox of Great Western Railway 0-6-2T No. 5643 whilst John, Jon and Simeon Dixon have been working on cleaning and painting 5643’s frames.

The Ribble Steam Railway’s Spring Steam Gala took place on Saturday and Sunday which meant that some resources were deployed to clean Furness Railway No. 20 and prepare it for action. Great Eastern Railway royal saloon No. 5 was also in traffic over the weekend so it was given a good vacuuming, a polish of the internal woodwork and the battery charged up.

FR 20 and the cab and frames of FR 25 in the background during the RSR's Spring Steam GalaSaturday turned out to be a very cold and windy day that reminded Tim and his crew on FR 20 why locomotive cabs were invented! The weather took a turn for the better on Sunday, and all went to plan. FR 20 is pictured here during a lunch break with the cab and frames of the former FR 25 in the background.

Anne Burton with the FRT's sales stand on Saturday during the RSR's spring Steam Gala.Anne and Phil Burton staffed a FRT sales stand over the week and took some useful money for the Trust.

Monday 18th March 2024

Keith Brewer attends to 5643's right hand big endIt has been another week of steady progress on the overhaul of Great Western
Railway 0-6-2T locomotive No. 5643 at Preston. Keith was busy on
Wednesday making adjustments to the right hand big end, where unwanted
movement of the bearings had been detected during inspection.

John Dixon cleaning those parts of 5643 that others don't reachJohn Dixon has continued his quest to clean up and paint those areas of the
frames not usually visible to the public.

71 stay holes visible on the side of 5643's fireboxKeith has now started to drill out stays on the left hand side of the firebox; his
work on the right hand side so far can be seen here with 71 stay holes visible.

Anne and Phil Burton re-covering seats for GER 5 with horse chestnut leaf moquetteMore horse chestnut leaf patterned moquette for Great Eastern Railway royal
saloon No. 5 has arrived this week to enable Anne and Phil Burton to re-cover
all the wooden chair seats. These will match the chaise longue.

Elsewhere on the purchasing front, new cylinder liners for 5643 have been
sourced and ordered. They should be with us in late April if all goes to plan.

Photos of Fred Jones' lifeIt has been a sad day for the FRT as a good number of members gathered at a very full Crosscrake Church near Kendal for the funeral of long-standing volunteer Fred Jones. His family arranged a display of photos charting his life at the wake, including one of Fred with his favourite wire cup brushes.

Finally, on a brighter note, we are pleased to be able to report that former FRT Trustee and Treasurer David Rimmer is now out of hospital and is in temporary care at Huyton in preparation for moving home. We wish him well in his recovery.


Monday 11th March 2024

Keith Brewer scraping the white metal on one of 5643's axleboxesWork has continued with the overhaul of Great Western Railway 0-6-2T No. 5643 with Keith seen here scraping in the white metal on one of the axleboxes.

Jon Dixon painting gloss black paint on to one of 5643's driving wheelsJon Dixon continued the beautification of the driving wheels which, after significant effort, are now rapidly becoming very black and shiny.

With the start of the Ribble Steam Railway’s operating season fast approaching, Ade transferred Furness Railway locomotive No. 20 and Great Eastern Railway royal saloon No. 5 to the RSR running shed last Wednesday. Sam fits one of FR 20's mudhole doorsSam used the opportunity to fit the mudhole doors on FR 20 whilst it was over the pit.

John Dixon adjusts the guard's window on GER No. 5GER No. 5 had been advertised for use on the Mother’s Day train service, being fully booked throughout the day for the occasion. John Dixon made some last-minute adjustments to the window of the guard’s door.

Phil Burton prepares one of GER 5's seats to receive a temporary brown coverPhil and Anne Burton worked hard to put some temporary brown covers on the chairs to make them look uniform in appearance. Some more horse chestnut leaf moquette is on the way which will then enable the chairs to match the chaise longue in the east saloon.

A new steam heat pipe is fitted to GER No. 5Just before the departure of the first train on Sunday morning the flexible steam heat pipe on the east end of the saloon announced to all that it had come to end of its working life. Fortunately, it was possible to remedy this fairly quickly, the steam crew and John Dixon engineering a swap in a very efficient pit stop. This was just as well as there was a cool moderate breeze and rain that day.

Bagnall 0-6-0ST Courageous leave Preston Riverside on Sunday, 10th March with GER No. 5 behind itGER No. 5 is seen leaving Riverside Station behind Courageous. After the furore yesterday over the editing of a Royal Family photo it was decided not to edit out the unsightly bucket from this photo!

Alison takes a moment off to pose for a photo taken by Ade, who was driving Courageous on Mother's DayAde managed to take this photo of Alison during a short break from preparing GER No.5 for its next set of customers.

Finally, the arrangements for the funeral of long term volunteer Fred Jones, who sadly passed away on the 25th February after a short illness, have been confirmed. The service will take place at St Thomas’ Church, Crosscrake on Monday 18th March at 12.45pm. All are welcome.

Monday 4th March 2024

Jon and Sim Dixon enhancing the look of 5643's wheelsWork at Preston has again focussed on the heavy general overhaul of Great Western Railway 0-6-2T No. 5643. Jon and Sim Dixon have been working on sprucing up the appearance of the driving wheelsets.

Paul Balshaw cleaning up one of 5643's pistonsPaul Balshaw has been cleaning one of the pistons.

Ed Tatham inside 5643's framesEd has been working inside the frames, viewed here through the left hand cylinder.

Ian Massey welding up 5643's boiler barrelIan Massey has completed his welding work on 5643’s boiler.

Allen Johnstone looks on as Keith drills out one 5643's staysAllen looks on as Keith drills out another of the 300 stays to be replaced.

Anne Burton cleans one of the seats in GER 5With Mother’s Day fast approaching, work has also been taking place to de-winterise Great Eastern Railway royal saloon No. 5 so that it can be used on the 10th March. Anne Burton has been busy cleaning the upholstery and carpet.

John Dixon cleans a brass steam heat coupling for GER 5John Dixon is seen here cleaning a steam heat pipe brass coupling prior to moving it to a rather better pipe. This will then be fitted to GER5 which, for some reason, was missing a steam heat pipe at one end.

Caliban's new piston head being machined in one of RSR's lathesFinally, Caliban’s new piston head is seen here being machined in one of the lathes in the Ribble Steam Railway workshop.