Monday, 26 April 2010

Somerset & Dorset Event: 25th April 2010

What a day! Driving up the A1 through persistent (and sometimes heavy) rain was a worrying start. However once I'd arrived at Wansford, the rain had gone and the weather improved throughout the day.

With unbelieveably bad timing, my camera decided to have a funny turn when the central event occurred: the non-stop run through of the double-headed 'Pines Express'. However it was definitely worth seeing and I think most other visitors were either on it, or got a good picture!

Wansford (renamed Midford for the event) seemed busy with visitors, as did the trains, which appeared very well loaded especially towards the middle and end of the day. Hopefully a successful day for the railway, and that a good time was had by all.

Ex-LMS '4F' 44422 stands at 'Midford' between trains.

BR Standard '5MT' 73050 pulls away from Wansford with the 3.25pm departure.

Julian Birley kindly brought along his Bentley for the day. This very car was used by Ivo Peters, a well known and highly regarded railway photographer, to chase trains on the Somerset and Dorset route (amongst others) in the age of steam. The fact that he was able to photograph the same train in multiple locations speaks volumes about the slow, cross-country nature of the route, and perhaps also the speed of his driving! I'm not too good on buses, but I believe this example is an AEC, and apparently served the Somerset/Dorset area. It nicely complemented the Bentley and a large collection of classic MGs which were also on display.

44422 being used in a turntable demonstration - always worth a look.

Wansford ('Midford'), was quite busy with visitors. Many more passengers were on the train to Peterborough and back at the time of the photo, while 44422 shunts the goods wagons.

A bit of an oddity here for an S&D event, although it was nice to see Austerity No.22 (Hunslet 3844 of 1956 vintage) out and about today. It would seem that attempts were unsuccessful to find an example of an 'Austerity' that worked on or near the S&D, so the engine was temporarily named 'Lord Salisbury'. This was the identity of a (very different) Peckett which worked at Norton Hill colliery in the Somerset coal field.

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Brief C&W Update

Excellent progress has been made with SNCB 21013 - new metal has started to go on the bodyside framework (pictured on an earlier posting) and been primed and feathered into the surviving platework. Further along the same side, more old metal has been stripped off, and the structural framework underneath is undergoing cleaning and priming.

A worn-out seat in BR Mk1 SK (compartment coach) 25347 was replaced today.

BR MK1 4686 saw some of the new 'Pines Express' carriage boards fitted, and I finished off the day by painting the white stars on the solebars as pictured earlier.


Mk1 coach 4686 looks resplendent in the sunshine after having some finishing touches applied. The (desperately required) coil springs have now been replaced and the coach is ready for traffic.

Underframe and bogies have now been fully painted on both sides, and the bodywork received a good wash today which makes a huge difference.

White star being hand-painted onto the solebar. These identify the location of the cords seen hanging below.

Somerset & Dorset Teaser...

The floodplains around the Blandford/Stourpaine area, or rural Cambridgeshire?

Actually, it's Midford!

The Pines Express is waiting...

...and nameless '5MT' 73050 is ready to help haul it!

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Recent Continental Loco News

Slightly old news now, but I have heard from a number of sources that the massive 'Kriegslok' (War Locomotive) 2-10-0 has been sold and is due to move from the railway. It's an impressive machine, but as it is really far too big for the railway's requirements, it was unlikely to have much of a future at the NVR.

Polish tank 5485 has progressed further since the static steam test pictured on this blog, this week it has made some test runs.

Sadly it looks as though I am unable to spare any time to visit the railway this week, so don't expect any blog updates for a week or two! I am planning to visit as a passenger for the S&D event on 25th April (I hope lots of you are able to attend...), so my next update is likely to be around then.

Friday, 9 April 2010

4F 44422

Usually when I volunteer at Wansford on a weekday, nothing is running. However, thanks to the Easter holidays, I was treated to the lovely sight of loaned Fowler 4F 44422 operating service trains on what turned out to be a gloriously sunny day.

In the second photo, ex-Somerset and Dorset colleague 73050 shows her face in the background... the Nene Valley S&D event is a little over two weeks away and it will be quite a sight to see these two locomotives working a train together again!

Rust Removal

In the carriage shed, cutting out the rusted lower bodysides of SNCB coach 21013 has begun.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

April Fools Day

As promised, here are some pics taken last Thursday, which happened to be April 1st. I assure you there is no trickery going on here!

The completed 'Pines Express' carriage boards for the S&D event - looking very smart.

Mail trolley with rear wheels fitted and turned the right way up...

Underframe of BR MK1 coach 4686 undergoing a very quick spruce up. Pictured nearly first thing in the morning, the bracket in the foreground has been painted but not much else yet...

Results of a days work - not quite finished, and unfortunately not painted to a particularly high standard, but it certainly looks smarter for the time being.

The roof of SNCB coach 21013 is completed and topcoated. Cutting away of the rust blistered sides up to waist level (about the thick yellow lining) will begin in earnest. The Carriage and Wagon shed looks a lot tidier without the scaffolding for roof access!

Polish 0-8-0 tank No.5485 was being test steamed today. Unfortunately this highlighted some issues that still need to be resolved, but it looks like good progress has been made. The difference in size between European stock and British stock (the goods van) can be seen to good effect here!

Friday, 2 April 2010

Austerity 0-6-0ST No.22

Newly restored 'Austerity' 0-6-0ST No.22 arrived this week, and has been moved into the shed to preserve its spotless condition! This engine should be resident at the NVR for the operating season, and hopefully for longer - I for one look forward to seeing it out and about on the railway.

I'm going away for a few days, so will upload more images from the railway on my return.