Another great week at the railway with lots going on as usual.
Chris and Allan loaded the lorry with the sleepers to go off for recycling. It is good to have them finally gone.
Trevor painted the flowerbed sleepers and put together the GWR bench, donated in memory of Fred Eakin. Both look very impressive on the platform of Spring Village station. Sean, Martin and Kevin continued to work on the Mk ll Brake Standard Open (BSO) coach No. 9406. John and AJ were repairing the dumper truck in the yard. This will be useful piece of kit when it is operational.
We had a flying visit from a Mallard duck this week, she enjoyed a rest on the platform and a bite to eat, before we carefully took her back to Horsehay pool. A couple of hours later she was back with her friends - all nine of them!
On Saturday John was putting more vinyl up, and Ben continued to put the seating together in the Mkll Tourist Standard Open (TSO) No. 5220. Ian was in the shed working on North British diesel hydraulic No.27414 'TOM'. AJ, Paul and John were also in the shed working on Ruston Hornsby 0-4-0 diesel mechanical No. 382824 'Hector'. Hopefully it will not be too long before we have these useful locos back in service. Pete and Alex were busy mowing and strimming the 'forest' of grass that has spring up between the platform and shed roads. It looks much tidier now.
The permanent way department were also busy at Lawley. Martin, Kevin, Shaun and Ryan took the road rail digger and a works train to start preparing the platform and site for improvement works. The fencing was taken down and posts lifted. Concrete sleepers were placed in the rails to get the digger off and on the track. The two rails for the run round loop were also brought closer to the point for putting in at a later date. All this whilst dodging the heavy rain showers that kept appearing at inappropriate times throughout the day 😁
On Sunday Peckett steam engine W6 0-4-0 No. 1722 'Rocket' was hauling our service trains. Josh, Andy and I were kept busy clearing all the fence posts brought down from Lawley and stacking them neatly in the yard. The top of the dock at Spring Village was strimmed and fence posts in the car park were painted white. This will help us to mark out bays to make parking easier. After lunch and an ice cream, Andy and I went up the line clearing back lineside vegetation that was beginning to block the view of drivers and shunters. It was a busy day with lots of passengers enjoying the railway and the good weather The final tasks of the weekend was to shunt the stock to allow Rocket back into the shed and to put everything away. We finished tired but happy😁
Thanks to Shaun, Ben and Paul for the additional information used in this update.
Our next public running day is Sunday 3 July with Rocket. The first train departs Spring Village at 11am. No need to book, just turn up and pay once to ride all day
Our next event is the open day for prospective members and volunteers, on Saturday 30 July. Full details and to book a space can be found on our website www.telfordsteamrailway.co.uk/events
Here at the railway, we are still feeling great about the successful Father's Day event on Sunday 19 June. There were lots of people visiting, the sun shone, and everyone had a great time riding the trains, and eating cake and ice cream.
We have been sent the following photographs from the day by Kirsty Robinson, which are so brilliant that we wanted to share them with you as well. I think you'll agree that they all had a great time.
Kirsty and co were here for the Father's Day Flyer experience, where Dads enjoyed a ride on the footplate of our steam engine 'Rocket', plus a two-course meal and unlimited travel for the whole family.
It was lovely that so many people chose to share their Father's Day with us this year.
You can also view our roundup video of the event on our YouTube Channel here
Our volunteers continue to work hard for the benefit of the railway.
Trevor was painting in the Furnaces Team room to keep it looking its best for our customers. Bob continued painting the railings at Spring Village platform. We have a lot of posts, railings and gates that needed refreshing at the railway! Hopefully, this will be finished soon. Shaun and Martin continued fitting wood panelling in the Brake Stand Open (BSO) coach No. 9406 and found some time to work on the 2-foot gauge diesel loco that, once restored, will work on the 'tram' track at Spring Village.
Paul was watering and weeding the flowerbeds at Spring Village and Horsehay and Dawley stations and Andy was out weedkilling along the trackbed.
Thursday evening saw volunteers prepping for the track maintenance day at the weekend, which meant trying to fix the tamper.
On Saturday, the stock was cleared from the platform at Spring Village station and Martin led a team to jack up the track so that ballast could be packed under the sleepers where the line had dipped. Once done the line was tamped. A slow progress as the tamper was still not working properly, and there were rain showers throughout the day. It was good work all round though, and it was completed by the end of the day.
Shaun was tidying up the site and Ben was clearing up the remains of the roof from the LMS CCTZ 6 Wheeled van. John, Paul and AJ were continuing to work on Ruston Hornsby 0-4-0 Diesel Mechanical 'Hector'
Sunday was Father's Day, and the railway was open to the public with Peckett W6 steam engine No 1722 'Rocket' hauling the trains. The railway was busy, which was great to see, and hearing everyone having a great time. Our Father's Day Flyer experiences had sold well, so there were lots of dads and grandads enjoying a footplate ride on 'Rocket' and a two-course meal in the Furnaces Tearoom whilst many more were having a train ride and exploring the miniature and model railways.
It was a great day, and we have already received the following feedback from our happy customers :
"Thank you for a fantastic day today and all of those who worked through Father's Day. The 'Dads' had a great time and the children loved it to. We got lots of lovely pictures to remember the day by too."
"The Father's Day Flyer was a brilliant day out for me, my Dad and my Father in Law. The kids really enjoyed their trip in the brake van too. Many thanks for opening up the shed so I could show the children 'Tom'..... A great team of friendly volunteers who couldn't go out of their way enough to make it a great day."
Away from operations, Martin was working on the road-rail digger, and we finally managed to stack and bind the remaining sleepers that need to be taken off site for recycling. These will hopefully be collected this week. Clearing this space is really important because we can now start to prepare the ground for installing the 3 way point and connect it to a siding that is currently isolated. This will increase flexibility for storing the works train and other vehicles.
Thanks to Paul and Ben for the additional information in this update.
Our next running day is Sunday 26 June with our steam engine 'Rocket'
Our next event is the Open day for prospective new members and volunteers on Saturday 30 July
This week work has continued in our coaches with additional wood panelling being fitted. More railings and fence posts have been painted white, when it has not been raining!
The rain and sun makes good growing conditions, so there has been a lot of weeding and general tidying up in the station gardens at Spring Village and Horsehay and Dawley. It's a lot of hard work but it has really paid off with some lovely flower displays this year.
On Thursday, a working party was back at Lawley, bolting down more chairs on the run round loop/siding.
With lots of sleeper replacements having taken place on the running line, we have many sleepers that are of no use to the railway. We sell most of these to the public, but there are some in such a poor condition that they cannot be sold. These will be taken off site for recycling so on Saturday, volunteers began the task of stacking and binding them into small piles which can then be loaded onto a lorry. They worked hard, and about half were left by the end of the day. On Sunday (after breakfast of course!) we continued with this, but we're slowed by the hot weather so didn't get as much completed as we hoped. We also had a tidy up in the yard which was a job well done.
Ruston Hornsby 0-4-0 diesel hydraulic No. 525947 'Rusty' was hauling service trains. Our steam engine 'Rocket' was having a rest this week after working the four-day Platinum Jubilee Bank Holiday.
"IN THE WORKS" UPDATE
North British 0-4-0 diesel hydraulic No 27414 'Tom'
A new coupling was being machined on Sunday that will connect the loco to the gearbox. The next jobs on the list will be to make a prop shaft with a slip joint, and to swap the compressor and vacuum exhauster.
Ruston Hornsby 0-4-0 diesel mechanical No 382824 'Hector'
A new spring for the chain tensioner in the engine has been made together with a new rerailing bar for the back of the loco, to match the one current fitted to the front.
The next jobs is to replace the road spring on the rear axle, and to touch up her paint.
Sentinel Steam engine Works No 9366
The cracked gauge glass has been replaced. The boiler water feed pump has been worked on and will be checked during a steam test which is planned to take place this week.
Our next planned running day and event is on Sunday 19 June with our Peckett steam engine No 1722 'Rocket'. We are also offering our 'Father's Day Flyer' experience. Please see the events page on our website for full details and booking.
Thanks to Paul, Martin, AJ, and Ian for the additional information provided for this update.
This week we had the incredible highs, and one low, of running for four days over the Queen's Platinum Jubilee weekend.
However before that, there was plenty of other work being done!
Trevor and Bob were out again painting the fences and gates at Spring Village station. Paul and John were on Ruston Hornsby 0-4-0 diesel No. 382824 'Hector', working on the new re-railer fitted to the back of the loco. Shaun was working the Brake Standard Open (BSO) no 9406 cutting the remaining panels of wood to be fitted to the walls in the passenger areas. John and Nigel were working in Tourist Standard Open (TSO) no 5220, continuing to fit the wood effect laminate to the walls. There were a few tricky moments when going around the windows but it looks great now it's finished. Ben helped to remove the old supports for the seats as we will be replacing them with the type used in our other coaches. Ian adjusted the handbrake on Ruston Hornsby 0-4-0 diesel No. 525947 'Rusty'.
A team of volunteers went back up to Lawley on Wednesday to continue bolting down the chairs on the run round loop/siding at the station. The running coach TSO No 5148 was cleaned and there was just enough time left to put up flags and bunting at Spring Village and Horsehay & Dawley stations ready for the big event.
The sun shone on Thursday, and we had lots of passengers enjoying Peckett 0-4-0 steam engine 'Rocket' pulling the 'Royal Special' trains, complete with our new headboard. Things were all running very smoothly until 'Rocket' decided to fail with a broken injector valve. Trains were rescued with our 'Thunderbird' Class 108 Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU) which took over the last services. Ian and Martin worked hard to repair Rocket and she was back in steam the next day and worked without issue for the rest of the weekend.
The only low point of the whole event happened on Thursday evening when sadly we had some trespassers on site, who shot out three windows on the Class 108 DMU, rendering it obviously out of action until it can be repaired. For a small railway like ourselves, this type of mindless vandalism has such a massive impact on our time, volunteer manpower and finances and was just so unnecessary.
We were grateful to have 'Rocket' operational and back hauling the 'Royal Special' trains on Friday to enable our Jubilee services to continue. Pete and Alex were busy with their mini tractor display, which was very popular with the children who loved climbing onto them and working the lights and horns. On Saturday we head the pleasure of welcoming once again the Mayor of Telford and Wrekin, Raj Mehta, to our Railway. He had a ride on the Phoenix Model Engineering Society's 5 inch railway and also a round trip to Lawley, Horsehay and Dawley and back in our 'Toad' brake van, assisting the guard by waving the flag, and chatting to our passengers. Raj had a great time, and we are grateful for his continued support for the railway.
On Sunday the heavens opened and the constant rain drove (gave an excuse to!) the volunteers to go the café earlier than usual for our Sunday breakfast. The volunteers in the café, Irene, Lesley, Abbey and Perry cook fantastic food for our customers (and us!) every running day and are much appreciated. I then popped into see John, Ash and Ad working our model railway in Railway House over the four days. There were lots of trains running, many with sound, lights and smoke and it really looked impressive to see them going round the layouts.
Overall a very tiring but rewarding week at our lovely railway. A big thank you to all our volunteers who worked so hard to make it a success. You are by really appreciated.
Our next running day is Sunday 12 June hauled by 'Rusty' (subject to availability)
Our next event is the 'Fathers Day Flyer' on Sunday 19 June hauled by 'Rocket' (subject to availability).
Thanks to Martin, Ben and Ian for the additional information provided for this update.