Our last steam open day of the 2014 season will be on Sunday 28th September. All the usual attractions will be available.
Restoration of fireless locomotive AB 0-4-0F 1952/1928 will be delayed, following the discovery that the steam pipes to the valve chests are leaking. It had previously been thought that the steam which leaked from under the footplate was coming from a cracked exhaust pipe, and this has been replaced. However, the recent steam test showed that steam was in fact leaking from the steam pipes, which are carried through various angles from under the steam receiver barrel by means of ball joints. These are of an obsolete type, and so some new form of flexible pipe will almost certainly have to be sourced. Meantime, work continues on painting.
The Group’s fortieth anniversary season got off to a great start on Sunday 25th and Monday 26th May, with just over 200 visitors on each of the two days. This seems to vindicate the decision to try running on a bank holiday Monday, which can now be deemed to be a successful experiment which will undoubtedly be repeated. In spite of poor weather, people turned out in these great numbers and enjoyed themselves. Number 10 steamed well throughout the two days, and there were enough volunteers to cope with the visitor numbers. We now have a few weeks’ break before weekly running starts on June 29th. This gives us time to make even more improvements, especially to our cafe.
2014 is the Group’s fortieth anniversary year, and to mark the occasion, the open days on Sunday and Monday August 3rd and 4th have been designated gala event days. The steam locomotive hauled brakevan rides will be operating as usual, but there will be many extra attractions, including vintage farm machinery and military vehicles, a miniature steam locomotive and a band, all mainly on the Sunday. The star of the show is likely to be our newly restored fireless locomotive which will be in steam. The Monday will be geared more to children, with (hopefully) a bouncy castle and other children’s activities. Watch this space (and newspapers) for more information!
Work on restoring Andrew Barclay fireless locomotive number 1952 of 1928 is progressing satisfactorily, and there is a real possibility that it will steam in 2014. At the moment most of the cladding on the steam receiver is in place. The valve gear has all been re-assembled. Cylinder cladding has been installed. The cab sides and bunkers are ready to be mounted; the cab roof still has some cosmetic work to be completed. Side rods are ready to go on.
Meantime, work has begun to prepare Number 10 for its annual boiler examination. No problems are anticipated.
On the diesel front, the gearbox repairs to the Powfoot Barclay (AB 347/1941) are complete, and it is now a reliable runner. The Sentinel has also been running well recently. Unfortunately the “big Barclay” (BP Number 7, AB 399/1959) continues to have problems, in spite of all the work that has been done; although the engine runs there is a serious lack of power, and at the moment we don’t know why. A diesel engine expert has been called in to review the matter.
The cosmetic restoration of Ruston and Hornsby 224352/1943 is complete and the locomotive is back outside the shed for static display.
Dates for steam open days in 2014 have been announced – see the appropriate page for details. For the first time ever we are including two bank holiday mondays – May 26th and August 4th. It is hoped that the two day opening on August 3rd and 4th will be a special event with extra attractions to mark the Group’s fortieth anniversary.
Winter meetings are now over for another year. The new season will begin on Wednesday October 1st 2014 with the annual general meeting and members’ slide night.
January saw the disposal of our RBR restaurant car to the GCR(Northern), who were keen to acquire an air braked vehicle of this kind for their fleet. Although a potentially useful member of our own fleet, the coach required a considerable amount of work, and was rather far down our ‘to do’ list. In return we obtained some BR 16T mineral wagons, a type hitherto missing from our collection, although literally thousands of these would have appeared at Dunaskin in the steam era.
RBR leaves Dunaskin.
(Photo Andy Arnot).
Mineral wagons at the platform. It is intended that one will be returned to running order and at least one other will be cosmetically restored.
(Photo. Andy Arnot)
Work continued on the restoration of the ‘Johnnie Walker’ palvan, No. CLV 211. This was considerably expedited by the arrival of a new volunteer, who was able to use his skills to construct a new pair of doors, instead of patching up the old ones, as we had previously attempted. This allowed us to get on with undercoating and top coating the van body, although we are not entirely satisfied that the finished colour is exactly the same as when the vans were in service.
This vehicle should be ready to form part of our proposed demonstration freight train by summer 2012.
(Photo. Andy Arnot)
The Group has been looking for some considerable time for a short chassis passenger coach to run on public open days. A short vehicle is necessary to fit inside our covered shed, which can only accommodate vehicles of less than 60′ overall, and after considering various alternatives such as non-gangwayed stock or DMU centre trailers, I discovered that there was a former LMS officer’s saloon, which might be available. We entered negotiations with DBSchenker, the owners, and eventually purchased the saloon in August.
Although in fairly good condition, there is still a considerable amount of work to be done on it, starting with the glazing, which has been attacked by vandals. The coach arrived at Dunaskin in late October, and has been stored ready for work to start in the New Year.
The Group has had enquiries from members of the Wickham society, as to whether we would consider parting with the two trollies in our possession. Although one trolley had been partially restored, there still remains a great deal of work to be done on it, and it was not a priority for treatment. Accordingly, and as the prospective purchaser promised to restore at least one to full working order asap, we agreed to dispose of them to him.
The first trolley left at the end of August, and the second vehicle, which is to be used as spares, is due to follow shortly. These trollies were originally used as inspection vehicles on the West Highland line, before finding more general work with BR’s Civil Engineers.
(Photo. Andy Arnot)
Additionally, some of the other rolling stock on display has been tidied up, without major work being carried out. These and other items will be worked on for restoration to running order, or for public display during 2012.
Finally! Welcome to our new all-singing, all-dancing website which we hope will keep you, the public, up to date with all that goes on in the ARPG. In particular, we hope to revive the mailing list, to which some of you have already subscribed; this will be used to draw your attention to updates which have been posted here.
Recent locomotive news and information about open days will be found in other posts.
Meantime, the Group must express sincere thanks to Jamie Thom, who has designed this website for us and can be relied upon to iron out any difficulties, despite living on the other side of the world!
Number 10 has been stripped down for its annual boiler exam. It is on track to be ready to steam on the first open day in May. Plans are in hand to repair leaks in the water tank, and hopefully this year will see a complete repaint.
Work continues on the Fireless locomotive. Unforeseen problems were detected in the course of stripping down, and this has prolonged the restoration process. New parts have had to be fabricated for the brake gear. However, it is hoped that the steam receiver will be hydraulically tested on the same occasion as Number 10′s annual boiler exam.
The Powfoot diesel continues to receive attention to its gearbox. Once again, new problems were discovered both on stripping down and while attempting to re-erect. New bearings have been ordered, and it is hoped this locomotive will be a runner again soon.
The “big Barclay” (BP Number 7) is a runner, although the vandalised dashboard can be difficult to work with. There are also signs of a radiator leak developing, which is bad news. It is hoped to give it a coat of paint this summer, which will go some way towards repairing the ravages of all those years spent in the open at Minnivey.
The Sentinel is also a runner, but there are still problems with its air supply system.