Hello and welcome to 2017! This is the first news post, which I intend to label by number rather than week of the year – having not quite aligned things the last two years I’ve tried! We start with a summary of the first of the training sessions this year, before looking around the RHEC and work being undertaken by the teams on site.
Tramway Mutual Improvement Class
Below: Each year the transport teams undergo training specific to their roles and reflecting the experiences of the preceding year. Also taken into account are any relevant safety notices from other railways/tramways, RAIB reports and other applicable ORR information or updates. Other matters such as engagement technique and dealing with specific occurrences are also covered. This year saw several scenarios, which were played out with staff unaware of what hand they would be dealt – as a situation was set up and then, in threes, the crews were handed envelopes describing the incident. They were then to respond, as if it were real. The passengers were made up of colleagues plus a mix of other staff members from elsewhere in the Museum who would play additional ‘surprise’ roles… Here Blackpool 147 is boarded by staff, unaware of their first scenario just around the corner…
Below: Scenario 1 was based around a pedestrian being struck by a tram. The scenario also involved staff from other teams and full use of our radio system and emergency planning (the Museum being closed on the Monday we carried the training out on). Not a nice situation but one which enabled a great deal of later discussion plus helped us to refine our thoughts ahead of a review of rules and safety management systems.
Below: For Scenario 2 a collision with a vehicle was posed. The cards in the envelopes also revealed the driver would be incapacitated, the van driver injured and the presence of a reporter and inquisitive press persons would be an additional factor for the staff to deal with.
Below: Scenario 3 saw a meeting of trams on the single line section. To add zest, an emergency brake application was made, resulting in two ‘passengers’ (staff from outside the transport team to make it more realistic) accosting the crew about their competence to drive and subsequently to resolve the situation. Cruel!
Below: The crews receive their instructions – they are about to find out they must rescue a failed tram, also involving a run-round shunt plus lengthy tow back to the depot. Blackpool 147 was rescuing Sunderland 16 – and some interesting moves were the result as seen in this sequence of views.
Below: Other scenarios included a power failure (with a tram ascending Pockerley Bank), a token machine failure (necessitating single-line working) and a simulated fire aboard the tram – again with added action from the ‘actors’. After the morning sessions, each group involved in each scenario presented on what happened and what they did, with a group discussion about the ideal behaviour and actions. This was followed by an afternoon session of training and discussion. All of this is added to the files for each participant, to show that they completed the day and so can sign off as ‘current’ on the annual competency audit.
Below: Meanwhile… The construction of the new Waggonway coach is advancing well, with the body framing and panelling substantially complete.
Below: The overhaul of the Fordson Thames pick-up has now seen the extensive structural work completed after Chris’ long battle with some very thin metalwork. The van will shortly move off site for painting and will appear in its new guise very soon we hope…
Below: The S&N ‘replica’ van is also receiving extensive attention and will be outshopped in a new livery for the new season. It is a very hard-worked vehicle and all attempts to replace it with something older have so far failed to fully extinguish its desire to keep working – so we thought it best we gave it a fair chance and some TLC!
Below: The B-Type bus has had the waist panels stripped, after the corrosion of them had reached a stage we felt some action was urgently needed. Fortunately the composite steel and timber frame is in sound condition, so with the panels moved and the frame cleaned up, insulation has been added and new aluminium panels are being made to fit. The beading was saved and will be re-fitted upon reassembly.
Below: David Young has been busy – overhauling fittings for Glyder, progressing the overhaul of the vertical Brightside engine and also working on Samson’s Horwich inspired tender. Busy times! Here is the steam fountain/manifold from Glyder following overhaul.
Below: The narrow gauge brakevan body and frame is complete and the van has been moved to temporary storage whilst we complete the chassis and mechanical components. It is planned for painting later in the year – aiming for completion in the summer (to keep Glyder company).
Below: The Brightside engine, complete with new big-end bearing and pulley (for driving the governor).
Below: The centre engine boiler is currently in the tram depot being stripped for retubing – an insurance against a tube failure in-service (which would render the whole ride out of commission whilst this work was carried out). Our maintenance plan allows for more frequent overhauls of high-intensity use items where a spare is not available, such as is the case for the fairground.
Below: New ducting is being installed to provide a route for wiring to new, period lighting, extending the Pit Village system to the top road, via the snake-path which passes the chip shop. The path itself is due for resurfacing shortly as well.
The new jalopy…
Below: The Crewe Tractor has spent its first day in use as my runabout – useful for the considerable amount of site-based meetings now underway – despite my own new year resolutions about getting more exercise…