Friday, 28 October 2011

Running the Railway

The unusually warm, dry weather in October meant that construction work continued longer than expected. It also means that there have been more opportunities to run the railway.

A recently-acquired "bargain" Collett 0-6-0 is tried out with a train before going into the workshop for refurbishment and a change of identity.

The Collett 0-6-0 comes off the viaduct past the planned station site.

A Beattie Well tank has a short test run ...

... including a passage hrough the tunnel.

Another Collett 0-6-0, this one a very old "Mainline" model of number 3210, has just been "weathered" into the condition in which I knew its prototype the 1960s. We would have regarded this as a very "clean" engine!

The quarry has acquired a Hunslet 0-6-0ST to cope with the steep bank up from the quarry floor. It is named "Penelope Jane" in honour of the quarry engineer's wife. When she saw it recently she was not best pleased with its state of cleanliness, and the engineer has paid a girl from the village to come and give it a scrub while the driver has his lunch.

It's not only in India where illicit passengers ride on the coach roof.

Collett no 3210 runs light engine past a Jinty, waiting in the quarry spur.

"Playing trains" again today (2/11), mainly for test and photographic purposes. This is the "bargain" engine that appeared in GWR colours at the top of this post. It had clearly been rattling around in someone's toybox, was liberally spattered with food residue, and had lost any vulnerable protrusions. After a clean, a bit of repair work, a tender swop, a repaint and a new identity as 3218, this is how it looks. Not perfect, but much as I remember its prototype in 1965.

The figure with a camera on the loco represents me as a teenager, having blagged a ride from Glastonbury to Highbridge. The only non-authentic aspect of the tableau is that in reality I was so terrified by the rolling and lurching of the engine that I held on firmly with both hands and didn't take a single photograph on the footplate!

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Relaying the double track

Last Sunday, I plucked up courage and started relaying the double-track section downhill from the viaduct. The original trackbed of this section of track was found to be too steep. Fortunately I found this out before I had laid too much track, and over the past two weeks I have lifted the track and remade the trackbed at a constant gradient of 1 in 50. I now have the first 6ft of double track down from the viaduct.

A ballast train on the new section of double track.

The ballast train.

The first passenger train over the new track, running wrong-line.

Next day, a further 6ft of double track was laid. It was then extended down the trackbed with temporary track, and tested with several locomotives and long trains.

Tangmere with 8 coaches is piloted by a 2P.

The train has crossed the viaduct and is starting the climb to the tunnel.
The gradient change through the station is evident on the coaches

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

The Quarry

After a break of several weeks and two demonstration sessions, work started again this week on the quarry. The final trackwork was laid for the exchange siding and shunter refuge spur, and the quarry floor was completed and given a steeply-descending line down to the lowest point.

The first picture shows one of the shunting engines with some wagons in the quarry bottom. It is clear from the angles of the wagons that the track is very uneven here, possibly damaged either by subsidence or a rockfall.

On another occasion, a Sentinel 0-4-0 is seen propelling three wagons up the short stretch of 1 in 15 from the deepest part of the quarry.

Sixty years later, a class 08 shunter lifts a ballast train out of the quarry...

... and propells it into the exchange siding.

The shunter then waits in the refuge spur until a main line loco comes to collect the train. On this occasion it was most unusually a Yeoman class 59.

The class 59 then leaves the quarry and heads over the viaduct ...

... and through the tunnel.

Back in time again, and a L&Y "Pug" storms out of the quarry with a single loaded wagon.

After the wagon has been added to the those in the exchange siding, the "Pug" returns to the refuge spur. The driver sounds his whistle in greeting as a train approaches on the main line.