Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Sholto's Day Arrives

A fabulous event today at Graham Lee's Statfold Barn Railway for invited guests of Andrew Neale to see the inauguration, complete with formal blessing, of Edward Sholto (Hunslet 996 of 1909) after three years of hard work by Andrew and his dedicated band of volunteers. Engine and owner behaved impeccably and, as Andrew has always promised, we now have a totally original Large Quarry class Hunslet to admire, looking exactly as it would have at the quarry. Sholto was working slate trains in between passenger runs with two of Graham's other engines including "Jack Lane", a brand new Hunslet built in 2005.

Photos show the star of the show, including on the footplate Margaret, the soon to be Mrs Andrew Neale.

Monday, 22 March 2010

Not another Motor Rail at Apedale?

Latest arrival is Motor Rail 8389, delivered ex works from Bedford on 28th March 1947 and supplied to W.G. Turriff Ltd at Leamington Spa as part of an order for three. However, in this case the order was not for the usual 20/28HP Simplex locos, but for 4 ton capacity dumpers, to a design which had much in common with the locomotive, but which was hoped would sustain the company in a world where narrow gauge railways were looking increasingly old fashioned. These early dumpers were fitted with the rugged and reliable Dorman 2DWD engine with standard Simplex clutch and a special gearbox with three forward and one reverse gear in addition to high and low range selection. The Davies detachable tube radiator was also employed, together with the standard Simplex fuel tank. Dumpers were available in both "forward control" and "rear control", the latter being the configuration normally adopted on modern dumpers today. Braking is mechanical, operated by levers and acting on large diameter brake drums on the front wheels.

This particular dumper ended up working at a Stone Quarry at Blakeney-on-Severn, before being withdrawn from service in the 1970s. It first came to the attention of Moseley member Jim Hay in an article in "Classic Plant and Machinery" magazine. When we discovered there was one of these rare machines left, we decided it had to be preserved. A little work has already been done to the hubs, brakes, radiator and fuel tank, but the engine is currently out for checking over and return to operation. Watch this space!

Works photo (c) Alan Keef Ltd, courtesy of Rob Pearman.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Genesix Takes Shape

With the crane out and awaiting a delivery for unloading at Apedale, I took the opportunity to fit Motor Rail 7066 with many of the various parts that were painted last week. This included the sandboxes and the gearbox. We also fetched from the stores a suitable bonnet that is still awaiting cleaning and painting, but I couldn't resist putting it on and taking a couple of photographs. It's amazing what a difference these components make. Can't wait until the bonnets are yellow and we can paint on the number 6!

Photos show No 6 now and 37 years ago at Cheadle Moseley.

Monday, 8 March 2010

Springtime for Simplex

My current background project is "Genesix", the rebuild of one of the Moseley Railway Trust's original 20in gauge locomotives from the 1970's school project at Moseley Grammar School. It was bought last year from Alan Keef Ltd as a bare frame. Currently the chassis is completed and the only major part not fitted is the gearbox. This and other sundry parts have been sitting in the workshop since before Christmas painted in undercoat but the weather has been so cold I haven't dared to do the topcoat. Also, I wanted to spray it, as yellow is so horrible to brush paint. Anyway, now we are awaiting the first hints of spring as the yellow daffs start to appear, what better time to paint a bit more of that canary yellow to No. 6? I had forgotten how bright it was!