Saturday, 11 July 2020

History Lesson - Class 03 No.03078

Today’s history lesson - Class 03, No.03078:

As part of the modernisation of the railways it was thought that a lot of time and money could be saved by replacing the “shunting” locomotives, which had always been steam, with diesel. Shunting was very common from moving wagons round in a yard to moving rakes of carriages around in stations.

Steam engines need 2 men to operate and take a few hours to get ready each morning whereas a diesel engine takes 1 man and 10 minutes. The Class 03 was one of the most successful diesel-mechanical 0-6-0 designs, 230 were made by British Rail at Swindon & Doncaster between 1957 & 1962. The Class 03 is powered by a Gardner 8LW diesel engine coupled to a 5-speed epicyclic gearbox and it features both air and vacuum train brakes for flexibility. 

Our 03, No.03078, was built at Doncaster and entered service on the 24th December 1959. Her first allocation was at Thornaby between 1959 and 1965. She then spent a year at both Darlington and West Hartlepool before returning to Thornaby between 1967 and 1968.

 She made her final move north in 1968, being allocated to Gateshead Depot, and remained there till being retired in 1988. She was normally used at Newcastle Central, work included station pilot duties (shunting carriages), trips to the staithes at Dunston, Blaydon, work in Berwick and Team Valley.

Shortly after retirement she was sold to North Tyneside Council and moved to Middle Engine Lane. 03078 was vital in the construction of our railway, being regularly used on works trains. The loco was repainted into a fictional lined black livery in the early 1990s and renumbered No.D2078, before being repainted back to BR Blue in early 2019.

 In 2019 she was also reunited with one of her former Gateshead stablemates (No.03079) at the railways diesel gala. 03078 is still frequently used for shunting around the railway and the occasional passenger train working.

Photo credits:
NTSRA Archives
Chris Robertson
Jeremy Chapter

Thursday, 9 July 2020

Throwback Thursday #41

Circa mid-1990s, Bagnall No.401 undergoing a repaint in the workshop, in the background is visiting LNER J27 (NER P3) No.65894 which is up on blocks for overhaul

Tuesday, 7 July 2020

More fishplate oiling

Tom and Steve ventured down the line this morning to carry on with fishplate oiling

Monday, 6 July 2020

Fishplate oiling

Tom and Steve spent some of this afternoon oiling fishplates in the yard, before being rained off

Saturday, 4 July 2020

Work down the line

03078 down at Percy Main with the tool van today for some work to Percy Main groundframe

As well as repairs to the groundframe, Nigel paints the top of the cage with anti-climb paint

Joe doing some strimming

Further up the line at the Tyne Tunnel Trading Estate level crossing, Michael W and Michael D remove the old sign...

...and replace it with a new one

History Lesson - Ashington No.5

Today's history lesson - Ashington Coal Company No.5:

Today we look at one of our steam locomotives which was built in Bristol but spent its whole working life up in the North East Pits.

Ashington was once proudly proclaimed as the largest pit village in the world, to serve it and the surrounding collieries was the largest private system in Northumberland if not the North East. In 1939 Ashington Coal Company No.5 was delivered by Peckett and Sons as works No.1970, along with her sister No.6 (No.1971), both carrying the Peckett works green livery. They were taken under the wing of the National Coal Board on Vesting Day 1947, but remained on the Ashington system, receiving a repaint into NCB blue at around this time. 

Ashington No.5 with Ashington No.40, this locomotive is now based at the Weardale Railway, currently undergoing overhaul

The Coal Board began to dieselise its Northumberland systems in 1969, at this point No.5 was sold to the North Norfolk Railway. Being based here until 1991 and then returning to the North East. She steamed until 1996 before being withdrawn and then returning to steam in 2010 following an overhaul. She was a key part of our operating fleet for many years before being withdrawn again in early 2019 for a mechanical overhaul.

Ashington No.5 at the North Norfolk Railway, early 1990s. Sporting her mustard yellow livery





Photo credits:
Joseph Mason
NTSRA Archives

Friday, 3 July 2020

401 rod fitting

This evening volunteers have been busy re-fitting 401s left-hand side connecting rod and return crank

Connecting rod successfully fitted as well as the return crank and return crank rod, Michael here is tightening the return crank to the crank pin. The rods were removed for maintenance and to allow easier access to the wheels during painting