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

Thursday, 25 June 2020

Throwback Thursday #39

Throwback to 11th April 2019, Bagnall No.401 has her first day back in service after a lengthy overhaul. The loco failed back in 2008 on the last day of Santa Specials. Overhaul commenced in mid-2011 and among many other little things the boiler received a new inner firebox, new stays, new tubes and the bottom end had new tyres fitted

Saturday, 20 June 2020

History Lesson - Consett Iron Company

Today’s history lesson - The Consett Iron Company:

Side tank locomotive A5, flagship of the NTSRA fleet was built by Kitson of Leeds in 1883, as works number 2509. It led a somewhat nomadic existence, moving between Templetown shed at Consett & Derwenthaugh shed (on the Chopwell & Garesfield railway, owned by the Consett Iron Co). Being based at Consett 1922 – 1928, 1929 – 1935 and 1936 – 1940, in 1940 she was dispatched to become the shunter at Chopwell colliery and she was still based there in 1947, when the National Coal Board was created. She became number 41 in the NCB fleet, eleven other A class locos also joined the NCB at that time. She remained at Chopwell till 1952, in that year she was moved to Derwenthaugh, where she remained till being withdrawn in 1968 and preserved in 1971. From here she moved to Monkwearmouth, being restored in the Goods shed, returning to her Consett Iron Co livery before moving to Middle Engine Lane.

Consett 10, was an 0-6-0 diesel mechanical loco, built by the Consett Iron Company at Templetown works in 1958, alongside her sister number 9. They were based on the then standard Hunslet diesels being purchased by the company. Using parts of scrapped crane locos, they still bore a striking resemblance to the Hunslet engines. It is also believed that the loco foreman at Consett had been poached from Hunslet, hence the similarity. Number 9 was scrapped in 1971, however her sister survived at the works till closure. Moving to Monkwearmouth, then Middle Engine Lane. We were lucky to be visited in 2018 by one of the apprentices that built her at Consett!

The third survivor from Consett Steelworks is vertical boilered crane E1, built as a 2-4-0 crane for heavy lifting in the works, by Black Hawthorn in 1887, as works number 897. One of four similar locos to survive until recent times, her last sister was scrapped in 1973, by this time she had also been converted to oil firing. E1 remained at the works til 1980, and upon closure moved to Beamish Museum, where she remains in a unrestored state.

In the museum is the cab of Ajax/Clio. Ajax was built by the Blyth & Tyne railway company at the Percy Main Works in 1867 as an 0-6-0 inside cylindered long boilered tender loco. It was absorbed by the NER and was sold by the NER as their number 1719 in September 1907 to the Seaham Harbour Dock Company, Ajax lasted at Seaham until scrapped in 1926. It wasn’t the end for Ajax, as her cab was transferred to another long boilered tender loco, Clio. She had been built by the NER at Gateshead in 1875 and was fitted with the cab from the scrapped Ajax. She carried this until scrapped in 1955. The cab again survived, laying around the works until preserved as the last part of a Blyth & Tyne locomotive.

Photo credits:
NTSRA Archives
Beamish Museum Archives
Armstrong Railway Photographic Trust
Malcolm Ravensdale
Stephen Thornton
Joseph Stuart