I start this post with a reminder that the Great North Steam Fair starts tomorrow! Four very full days of veteran road vehicles, trams, buses, trains and cycles, all active and spread across the museum site. We will see Blackpool & Fleetwood 40 debut in service here, alongside Manchester 765 and as many of our trams as are available. Rowley, the Waggonway, the colliery standard and narrow gauge, 15″ and tramway are all running – six separate railways, four of which you can ride on!
Ravenglass visitors arrive
Below: The cohort of items from the Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway in Cumbria arrived last night, being placed upon the new railway before nightfall. This afternoon they were tested and the operational procedures rehearsed. See earlier posts for Matt’s history of the locomotives and background to the visit. David Watchmann supplied these images of the arrival and unloading.
Below: A very different view from the rear of Francis Street!
Hetton Lyon departure
Below: Sweeping up a few loose ends with this post, here are Jorden Sayer’s photos of Hetton Lyon departing for the National Railway Museum at Shildon where it will be subject to a rigorous archaeological investigation as part of a research project into its design, age, identity and history…
Below: It has been a little while since I reported progress on Dunrobin. Much has been going on, focussed on the boiler and driving wheelsets. The brand new cylinder block has also been removed for remedial attention by the manufacturer which is worrying us as it could impact the timescale for completion that the principle contractor, the Severn Valley Railway, is working to. The tanks and other new items are also being painted so as to prepare them for the final assembly of the locomotive.
The first of four views here, all taken by Neil Taylor from the SVR, shows one of the four new wheel centre castings which were made to replace the heavily cracked originals. It is seen machined and ready for tyre fitting…
Below: The new tyre for one of the driving wheels (‘coupled wheels’ to be strictly accurate) is seen after machining to fit the casting. These are made so as to be a tight fit on the casting.
Below: The wheelset for the leading axle is here being lowered into the tyre-pit. The tyres are heated (in the gas ring visible) so as to expand them, allowing the wheelcentre to drop into the tyre and locate within a machined step. As the tyre cools and contracts, it grips the wheel centre and this provides the primary securing, with additional means to secure a tyre (sometimes bolts, sometimes a ring) being added, depending on the wheel and design.
Below: The crank axle for Dunrobin also has new wheels and tyres, with the outer axles also being new (onto which the wheels are pressed). Crankpins and tyres are yet to be fitted in this view. Final machining of the tyre profile will also be undertaken (which will correct any variance during the pressing/shrinking processes).
Below: As readers will recall, Samson has been on display at the Reece Group factory site on Scotswood Road in Newcastle. It is seen here on display awaiting our collection…
Below: Following collection and return to the museum, we shunted it using the First World War 40HP Simplex, which itself has received quite a lot of fine tuning from the vehicle fitters and is running well, the pair being seen here – probably as clean as you will ever see them!
Below: The new water tower base has been completed and awaits its tank… This is based on the contractors type towers used across the UK (and globally) for temporary railways), as well as some of the more established industrial lines – in this case the Pentewan Railway in Cornwall was my inspiration! A large water tank has been prepared to fit onto this tower, which we should have installed before June’s ‘Old King Coal’ event, when the narrow gauge line will next be running after this weekend’s steam fair.