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

Saturday, 4 July 2020

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 She steamed until 1996 before being withdrawn and then returning to steam in 2010 following an overhaul. She was a key part of our operating fleet for many years before being withdrawn again in early 2019 for a mechanical overhaul.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

Thursday, 2 July 2020

Throwback Thursday #40

Throwback to sometime in the early 1990s, visiting Class 24 loco No.97201 (D5061) with the tool van, parcel van and brake van en route to Percy Main. This Class 24 is currently based at the North Yorkshire Moors Railway where it is stored awaiting overhaul.

Wednesday, 1 July 2020

08915 getting a clean

Whilst the pressure washer was out the opportunity was taken to give 08915s frames and brake gear a wash as well

Steam cleaning

Photos of volunteers Steve and Tom pressure washing/steam cleaning both the workshop and running shed pits and floor

03078 at Percy Main

03078 down at Percy Main today

Sunday, 28 June 2020

03078 at Percy Main

As well as shunting, 03078 was taken down to Percy Main and back a couple times yesterday, this was for a general line inspection as well as to give the engine a good run

Work on the brake van

Work is progressing well on the brake van, whilst awaiting some materials to carry out repair work on the roof, Richard has fitted the north end windows. In this photo, he is applying masking tape around their edges to finish off painting

The running boards on this side have been removed for replacement and frame painting

All axleboxes have had their underkeeps dropped off so the underkeep pads and journals can be inspected

401 work

Rob applying a second topcoat to various bits on 401 after they have been sanded back, here Rob is painting the RHS sandbox

The front buffer beam has also had its first topcoat followed by a light sanding back ready for another coat

03078 shunting

03078 was out shunting this morning, the two coal hopper wagons have been swapped around so that the one being worked on is over the hardstand/concrete apron

Saturday, 27 June 2020

03079 transfers

Volunteers Michael W and Michael D have applied the RHS transfers on 03079s cab side this evening

History Lesson - Tyneside Electrics

Today's history lesson - Tyneside Electrics:

The North Eastern Railway absorbed the Blyth and Tyne railway in 1894, by doing so it not only removed a thorn from its side, but it also gained a second route to Tynemouth. The former B&T was connected to the NER and a new station added at Tynemouth as well as various other upgrades. By 1900 however electric trains had drawn traffic away from the railway and receipts were dropping.

The NER agreed to electrify the Tyneside loop (Newcastle to the coast, plus the Riverside branch) using the electrified rail or third rail method. This opened in 1904 becoming the first electrified passenger service in Britain (despite claims by the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway, which actually opened a month later). 

The service was a huge success, winning back considerable traffic. 1918 saw a devastating fire at the car sheds, damaging much of the fleet, so replacement vehicles were built by the NER. In 1938 the line to South Shields was electrified by the LNER. The original stock was replaced with newer units by the LNER (none of which survive) and finally, British Rail brought in the third generation. 

These units lasted just 12 years, with the decision in 1963 to abandon the electric trains due to increased running costs. South Shields went over to diesel in 1963, the rest in 1967. This again saw a huge decline in passenger numbers. Leasing to the creation of the Metro in 1971.

Of the Tyneside electrics there are just two surviving units. One British rail unit is currently under restoration at the Battlefield Line, in the care of the Suburban Electric Railway Association. The other is a Motor Parcel Van built-in 1904, the last original unit. This van was used for moving parcels and light goods (including fish from the Cullercoats fishwives) to Newcastle. 

Our van, No.3267, was built at York and was known as a Motor Luggage Van. It was designed to move freight at the same speed as the electric passenger trains and avoid delaying the services. It was withdrawn in August 1937 and converted into a de-icing van. It used compressed air to feed de-icer onto the electric third rail, they were pushed by a loco at 15mph and carried enough solution to complete the 90 mile circuit. 

She continued in this role until March 1966, when as the last surviving NER electric from the Tyneside loop, she was preserved as part of the national collection. Before moving first on loan to Monkwearmouth, then Middle Engine Lane where it is still based.

No.3267 in the museum, 2013

Photos credits

NTSRA Archives
Ian S Carr

Friday, 26 June 2020

Removing the rollers rolls

Yesterday, volunteers Tom, Steve, Richard and Michael spent the day removing the front and back rolls as well as the headstock off the roller

The 'before' shot

The front of the barrel was jacked and packed to lift the headstock clear of the pivot pin, once it was cleared we carefully dragged it out using the tractor and packed it on the hardstand

Front roll off

For the back rolls we jacked and packed under the foundation ring to lift the rolls off the ground. Then, using the a-frame, we pulled the rolls from the axle and dragged them back clear

Headstock removed after a bit of a battle with the nuts and bolts