Another busy week at the railway.
On Tuesday it was very hot, 55.6 C in the coaches! Not much could get done in that heat however Paul was out early watering all the plants and Trevor was painting the walls in the tearoom, until it got too hot. In the evening Martin and Ian were servicing the new rail/road dumper. Kev, Allan Chris, Dave A, John and Dave J oiled and inspected the weigh wagon, and did a small shunt to move it to a more accessible part of the yard. This was to be able to make a start to unload the concrete fence posts off it (which are very heavy), then stacking and binding them together.
During the day on Thursday, Grahame was gardening around the site, keeping everything watered and looking tidy. Paul was continuing to work on the floors in the station building at Horsehay and Dawley. Trevor was back painting in the tearoom. This is making a big difference to how it looks and feels which is great. Nigel was working in MK2 Tourist Staandard Open (TSO) No. 5220 trying to get the floor ready for new plywood to be fitted. In the other half of the coach, the tables continue to be refitted. Ben even found some time to take the needle gun to his box van which is currently being restored. In the evening Martin steam cleaned the Road/Rail dumper and both he and Ian continued to work on getting it ready for use. Marian was cleaning the inside of the Pacer for our open day next Saturday. The concrete posts in the weigh wagon were calling, so Ben, Dave and Kev unloaded and stacked another 60. Unfortunately the wagon still looked full when they had finished😩. AJ, Paul and John continued to work on the 2 tonne dumper, reconnecting both of the driveshafts.
Saturday was another productive day with Chris and Martin busy moving spoil and rubble from the platform extension at Spring Village to the front of the site so that it can be removed. Ben, Shaun, Kev and Allan unloaded the last of the concrete posts from the weigh wagon and stacked them. This had been a long and tiring job but something that has need doing for a long time - well done lads😁. The 2 tonne dumper was fired back into life after its restoration back to working order, including having the gearbox and transfer box rebuilt. It was put to use straight away, helping to move the spoil. Pete and Alex were on site, fixing the broken bench on Spring Village platform and cleaning up around the sleeper coach. Finally, the refurbished seat cushions were picked up which means more can be sent off to be reupholstered. Hopefully the refurbished cushion will be fitted in the week.
We were running as usual on Sunday, the rain a blessing as Peckett W6 0-4-0 No 1722 'Rocket' was in steam and meant that any potential fire risk was reduced. Two trains were in operation with 'Rocket' on passenger and Ruston & Hornsby 0-4-0 diesel mechanical No. 313394 'Jammo' on freight (the now empty weigh wagon) taking the spoil from Spring Village to Lawley when the passenger train was locked out of section at Horsehay and Dawley station. We were able to complete four trips in total before we finished for the day. Even though we had showers throughout the day, there were lots of passengers at the railway and trains were full.
Thank you to Ben, Ian, AJ and Dave for the addition information included in this update.
Our next running day is Sunday 31st July with 'Rocket'. First train from Spring Village at 11am. No need to pre book, just turn up and pay, and ride all day! Come and see what we are up to
Hopefully you find these weekly updates informative and interesting. If they make you want to get involved, our next event is the open day on Saturday 30 July for prospective new members and volunteers. Full details and how to book your slot on a tour of the site at either 10am or 1pm can be found on our website www.telfordsteamrailway.co.uk/volunteer-open-day-22 . Check out the Telford Steam Railway Facebook page for volunteer stories on why we do what we do. We hope to see you soon!
eMK2 Tourist Standard Open (TSO) No. 5220
Progress has slowed this week after it was discovered that part of the floor will need to be replaced before the seats can go back in. The plywood is very rotten, and in places has disappeared completely. Thankfully the metal structure below appears to be in good condition.
On Tuesday we took delivery of various second hand plant machinery, P-way trolleys and other items. These machines will be very useful for maintaining our railway, and relaying the track to Doseley (more about that later!).
Trevor has been busy painting again this week, with the tearoom and signal-post at Spring Village seeing the benefit of his hard work
In between gardening and watering the plants, Paul has continued sanding and and varnishing the floors of the station building at Horsehay and Dawley.
The new glass windows for the Class 108 DMU arrived (it's windows had been shot out by trespassers). These were fitted on Saturday and although a fiddly and time consuming job, it is great to have this fantastic piece of kit back in service, just in time as it was rostered for the public service on Sunday.
The weather was too hot on Sunday for much to get done. We did a track walk of the whole running line, replacing keys and checking fishplates etc. The DMU was a popular choice with our passengers, and the tearoom was busy selling cold drinks and ice creams.
After the public timetable had finished, Ruston & Hornsby 0-4-0 diesel mechanical No. 313394 'Jammo' was driven to Lawley to shunt the ex Ironbridge Power Station 'weigh wagon' out of the rake of stock there and bring it back to the yard at Spring Village. This will be used to take the spoil from the platform extension to be reused at the Lawley site.
Relaying the track south from Horsehay and Dawley station to the barrow crossing and onto Doseley
On Sunday we had a productive meeting with our track consultant to discuss the installation on a new drainage system, after confirming that there is no existing pipework at the station. Materials are now being ordered, and consultation with our contractors is continuing to agree the best way forward. Once the drainage issues have been resolved, track relaying can begin in earnest, which will be much easier with the plant machinery we have now acquired.
Thank you to Ben for the additional information used in this update.
Our next public service day is Sunday 24 July where the rostered motive power is Peckett & Son W6 steam engine, No. 1722 'Rocket'. However, if the hot weather continues, steam may be replaced by the Class 108 DMU. Updates will be made on our Facebook page
Our next event is the open day for prospective new members and volunteers on Saturday 30July. Volunteer stories on why we do what they do are being posted regularly on our Facebook page to hopefully inspire you to join us. To book your session at the open day, please visit our website www.telfordsteamrailway.co.uk/volunteer-open-day-22
This week's update from the railway
MK2 Tourist Standard Open (TSO) No. 5220
Seats have been removed from the 2nd half of the coach so that work can start in repairing the bodywork and reapplying the vinyl. All but one of the seat carcasses have been put back into the 1st half. This was done just in time as we took delivery of the reupholstered seat cushions, have now been refitted (and look very impressive!). With 16 seat cushions received, the next 16 have gone off to be recovered and we should hopefully have them back in a couple of weeks.
Our buildings continue to receive maintenance. Trevor has carried on painting in the tearoom, and Paul has sanded and varnished the floor in the waiting room at Horsehay and Dawley Station.
Lots of P-Way work this week
Chris, Martin, Ian and Richard were busy clearing vegetation and digging out soil and aggregate at Spring Village in preparation for extending the platform. This extension will allow four coaches to be boarded and discharged at the platform side (currently only three can) which will improve our visitor's experience and reduce waiting times when running the Polar Express event at Christmas.
As part of this clearance work, the tunnel and track of the Phoenix miniature railway have been removed to make space. Their track will be realigned, and the tunnel rebuilt to allow everything to fit. The Phoenix railway remains open and operational as usual throughout these works.
The platform improvements at Lawley Station are still progressing. However, attention has shifted to Spring Village due to the availability of appropriate machinery needed to get the job done.
Ruston Hornsby 0-4-0 Diesel Mechanical No. 382824 'Hector'
A major milestone in Hector's restoration occurred on Saturday when she was successfully started, and moved a few yards out of, and back into the shed. Hopefully, it will not be long now before she is back in service.
Pete and Alex have been busy mowing the car park and picnic area. We have received a lot of positive feedback for our green areas and station gardens, and we are very grateful for all the hard work our volunteers put in every week.
On Wednesday we were delighted to welcome around 40 members of the Association of Shrewsbury Railway Modellers to our railway. They enjoyed a guided tour of the Spring Village site and the engine shed, and a special run on the Phoenix miniature railway. They were then taken to Horsehay and Dawley (H&D) in the class 108 Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU) hauled, as a special treat by class 37, 37263.
At H&D our extensive model railway exhibition at Railway House was open and running before finally retiring to the tearoom for a fantastic spread of sandwiches, pastries and cake., all delightfully prepared by our fantastic volunteers. Everyone had a great time, and we look forward to their next visit. Thanks to all the volunteers who made this event a success.
On Saturday, Kev visited Hams Hall depot to check in on our Class 08 diesel shunter 08757 'Eagle', which is currently there on hire.
Late on Saturday, the decision was made to run 37263 on the Sunday service trains. News spread quickly over social media and we had lots of enthusiasts join us in glorious sunshine for the rare opportunity of haulage behind this beautiful locomotive. Look out for our next YouTube video, with lots of footage from the day.
Polar Express update
Tickets for this event are selling steadily, with a number of trains in December already close to selling out. To book your tickets, go to https://telfordsteamrailwaypolarexpress.digitickets.co.uk. The planned motive power for this year will again be GWR 56XX 5619 top and tailed with BR class 08 diesel, 08757 'Eagle'.
Our next running day is Sunday 17th July with services due to be hauled by the class 108 DMU. No need to pre book, just turn up and pay, to ride all day. First departure from Spring Village is at 11 am. We currently have roadworks nearby, so give yourself a little extra time and follow the diversion signs to reach us safely.
Our next event is the open day for prospective new members and volunteers on Saturday 30 July. Please look out on our Facebook page for personal stories on why our fantastic volunteers are involved at the railway.
There is so much happening at the railway at the moment, it is difficult to know where to start!
In the week
MK2 Tourist Standard Open (TSO) No. 5220.
John carried on with covering the end wall, door and last section around the windows with wood laminate (now completed for this half of the coach). Nigel and Robin have started in the second half, cutting out 3 sections of wall to begin replacing, and filling, due to a few surprises left by previous BR 'repairs'. Two panels were cut and fitted,
Josh and Ben were fitting seats, tables and brackets to the floor and walls, and carried on tidying up the coach and painting up more of the seat supports.
There was heavy rain in Telford on Thursday. Unfortunately a lot of this found it's way through the windows. So, we will need to take the windows out and reseal them (as we have just had to do with the BSO).
MK2 Brake Standard Open (BSO) No. 9406
Sean continued to varnish the wood panels which will be fitted shortly. John showed us the new luggage racking which has now been test fitted in the coach. We've gone for something a little different, but it seems to have worked well (something to look out for when the coach is in service 😁)
Peckett & Sons W6 No 1722 'Rocket'
Has had some minor repairs, her tubes cleaned and some TLC this week from Ian and Dave.
Class 144 'Pacer' No 144013
Was started up and checked over because it has been stood still for quite a while. Driver and Guard training for this loco is planned for September, after which it should be available for public services
Ruston Hornsby diesel mechanical No. 382824. 'Hector'
John was needle gunning various parts ready for painting. Most of the major repair work has now been completed and hopefully Hector will be out on a test run next weekend.
Work has continued tidying up the yard to create space for a medium term storage need
Bob has painted the last gate left at Spring Village and Trevor was painting the tearoom.
Gardening at Horsehay and Dawley and Spring Village stations feels like a full time job at the moment, but the results are beautiful and a great advert for the railway
Martin, Ian, Kev, Dave, Andy and AJ took the works train and road rail digger back to Lawley Station where the platform edge was removed and the top surface of MOT aggregate dug out and bagged. The MOT will be reused in the car park at Spring Village.
A section of the 2 foot railway track at the crossing was carefully removed. The track was never designed to have a heavy road rail digger travel over it so it has been taken up to prevent damage. As there is no current steam or diesel traction available to run on the 2 foot railway, this was an ideal opportunity to get it done. It will be put back in place, with a concrete crossing, at a later date.
'Rocket' was in steam for the service trains. We had lots of passengers, including Ian and Elaine, who asked if they could have a little ceremony on the footplate of Rocket to remember their steam railway loving parents Jan and Malc, who had lived all their married life in Wellington and had both sadly passed away in 2020. We were more than happy to agree with their request and it was lovely. We very much hope to see Ian and Elaine back at our railway again soon, although hopefully in happier circumstances next time.
Martin was working on the road rail digger, keeping it greased, fixing the wiring on the two speed tracking system and fitting a new set of work lights.
So lots of progress at our lovely railway this week. Please come down to see for yourself all the great things we are doing.
This Wednesday, we welcome the Association of Shrewsbury Railway Modellers, who will be visiting our extensive 'Top Link' model railway, the Phoenix 5 inch railway, and having a trip on the standard gauge line. We look forward to seeing them.
Our next running day is Sunday 10th July, which will be diesel hauled (Rocket is having a rest). First train leaves Spring Village at 11am with further departures at 12pm, 1:30pm, 2:30pm and 3:30pm. No need to pre book. Just pay on arrival and ride all day.
The next planned event is our open day for prospective new volunteers and members on Saturday 30July. See our website and Facebook pages for more details and how to book.
thank you to Ben and Ian for the additional information used in the update
PLEASE NOTE: there will be major sewage installation works taking place around our site commencing Wednesday 4 July. The railway will remain open throughout so please check your journey, and we will be posting regular updates at the works progress