The weather hasn’t been entirely kind to our last weekend of enhanced transport here at Beamish, and with Newcastle 114 as the star attraction it was perhaps inevitable that after happily and reliably running without any problems all season it chose this weekend to spit its dummy out and develop a controller fault. It was replaced on its driver experience duties for the Sunday and fortunately failed late enough on Saturday that no bookings for it were lost. But then it is 114 years old so we should perhaps expect the odd spot of trouble from time to time! And who wants to work on their birthday!
220’s big day out
Below: As part of the preparation for this weekend’s Power from the Past running (which has turned out to be very wet!), the Rotherham Daimler was removed from storage, taxed and then put through an examination ahead of making its operational debut this weekend. As part of this, Matt, Terry and Russell, the latter making the most of his contacts in the commercial bus industry, took the bus to the local Go-North East garage at Stanley where the depot manager had kindly offered the use of the rolling road in order to carry out the required brake and emission tests. The bus is seen departing Beamish for the nearby garage.
Below: 220 on the rolling road within the depot at Stanley. The brake test reveals the comforting result of the test!
Below: An emissions test was also carried out on the (warmed!) Gardner engine – again it passed.
Below: All done and 220 heads back to Beamish. We are very grateful to Go North East for allowing us access to their facilities.
Below: With commissioning completed, 22o entered service on Saturday 7th November.
Power from the Past
Below: As part of the 114th anniversary celebration for 114, a display of vehicles was presented outside the tram depot, including one of Go North East’s newest additions, a 15 reg Write StreetLite with appropriate advertisements. 501 was also brought out, along with 26. For the occasion the Daimler CC was put back onto its solid tyres (which are due replacement to enable them to be left on all year round) – it look so much better like this!
On Sunday a different line up was created, for this see the next post…
Below: Chris has had a variety of work in the machine shop/welding bay, including the thrust brasses for Sheffield 264’s axleboxes, which he has been building up to original thickness.
Below: One of the brasses in place…
Below: This view shows where the brass fits, with the slot in the axle itself being clearly visible here. Note too the oil reservoir and wool trimming tails, the pad for these being hard up under the journal (the weight bearing part of the axle within the axlebox) in this view and not visible.
Below: A cleaner job was TIG welding a couple of rings on starter motor gears that had become detached. This required some precision in a tight area to access.
Below: Meanwhile, the swing boats at the Fairground are re-gaining their original boats (they have run with a spare set this season). These have been stripped by staff from the Fairground and are in the Finishing Shop for painting and re-fitting next week.
Below: Dave Young has taken on the task of machining and assembling the wheelsets for Samson’s tender/support waggon (see earlier posts). You may recall that Matt Beddard had built a replica timber frame and body to which the original ironwork would be fitted, but we had decided new wheelsets and axleboxes would be required. Wheels were cast from an original London Lead Company wheelset borrowed from Killhope and Dave is making a pattern for an axlebox/pedestal to suit.
The photos show the rear of the flange and hub faced off, the axle hole drilled and bored (first photo) and the profile of the flange machined. The final turning will be carried out once the wheels have been fitted to the axles.
Below: Three wheel castings machined, one more to complete. Axles will be made and fitted before the final tread turning is completed.
Waggonway Open Coach
Below: We’ve known all season that the external condition of the Waggonway’s open passenger coach has been deteriorating. The frames and underframes of this and the other vehicles are very strongly constructed, but over the years this body in particular has been rebuilt a number of times and to a budget. With pressure washing actually punching holes into the panels, it was decided to bring it into the RHEC and give it a new body and, due to the increased operation across the year (i.e. winter!), a roof will be fitted, though the sides will remain open – there is a precedent for this as the Kitching design supplied to the Stockton & Darlington Railway in the early 1830s included for this very situation.
Below: Opposite the tram stop at Pockerley has existed for some time a fairly untidy mound of earth and spoil. This has now been moved, tidied and the resulting space prepared to enable us to create a new area for use during events as well as the headshunt for the narrow gauge railway in this area. This will enable more exposure of this operation to visitors when running as well as giving us additional working display space for events such as the Great North Steam Fair. Space for exhibits has always been at a premium despite the size of the Museum, as sometimes access does need to be restricted (for the sawbench for instance) and this can tie up large areas of otherwise useful space. So this little bit of progress should help and was very rapidly accomplished by Darren on the last day of the 22ton 260 excavator’s hire to us.
Access Bus (Crosville 716)
Below: More photos are to follow, but the restored radiator for 716 has been fitted, complete with an original badge for model and Royal Appointment. Nice isn’t it?!