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Quainton News Archive - Quainton News No. 29 - Autumn 1976

Reports from the Sections

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J M Hutchings - Another tank on! This is Alexander's

Locomotive Department:

Richard Heather, joint owner of Bodmin confirms the rumour that 34016 will be leaving Quainton for the Winchester & Alton Railway in the coming months. No date is fixed yet but there may be problems in the route out of the station because the road bridge over the railway is showing some severe cracks in the arch brickwork due to settlement following the drought. Progress on L44's overhaul has continued and the boiler has been visually inspected by the insurance engineer. A number of tubes are to be replaced and a defective rivet, not a large stay will require attention. Estimates are being obtained for wheel tyre turning. Cleaning and painting of the main frames and bogie frame to a high standard of finish has continued and the regular gang welcome Dave Gomersall to their numbers. Brian Clifford is working on dismantling the AP Sydenham. The cab and rusting cladding sheets have been removed and the 76 boiler tubes are being taken out. A preliminary inspection suggests the boiler shell and firebox are in reasonable condition but the front tubeplate needs some building up: Brian's smart black lined-out MW, No. 14 Brill has received further attention to valve and reversing gear and to its mechanical lubricator. The Beattie's problems during the Open Days have been mentioned elsewhere but a number of necessary jobs have been carried out during the summer including adjustment of horn block wedges, attention to slide bars, repacking stuffing boxes and replacement of a stud on a gauge mounting. Coventry No. 1 has had normal running maintenance and looks very tidy. It's vacuum fitting has worked well but 7715's equipment has needed careful examination which has been done by Del Etheridge. The vacuum pump worked off the crosshead did not appear to be able to renew the vacuum although the pump was thoroughly overhauled. It was then found that LT had modified the system and removed a reservoir originally fitted in the GW design. Del now has the information on how to return the locomotive to the GW arrangement.

Alexander's boiler lagging has been finished and the saddle tank was placed in position during July but David has been posed some locating problems in fixing the tank. Del's Peckett 2104 had its tank fitted on 8th August.

Reg and Les have been building a massive new 14ft workbench which will be a first class job while Chislet's restoration continues with valve gear overhaul, painting underneath and preparing for a new pattern for making replacement connecting rod bearings.

Sentinels 7 and 11 have had routine attention and were engaged on some stirring double headed shunting of the short siding to retrieve Trym on 5th September. Work on the smart gloss black Isebrook is going well in the up yard. Following the overhaul of the engine from Dom and the extensive repairs to the body sheeting, the locomotive is jacked up for inspection of axle boxes and bearings and for underside painting. Although the livery is to be black, lined in red, it is believed to have been grey when new. A Sentinel catalogue picture shows an engine shunting locomotives and it has a vacuum brake. Isebrook had this piped through and also had steam heating arrangements supplied from the Sentinel boiler. For the short period it was GWR 12 it probably had a larger boiler which required a modified arrangement of support by a cross girder. This girder is still to be seen on Isebrook but the Galloways boiler fitted on its purchase from Grays was built in 1927 not 1926.

Progress has continued on 76017 but we hope to have a feature article on the Class 4 2-6-0 in the next issue. Suffice it to say that it is a good crew working on the Mogul and we are glad they are with us at Quainton! 76017's boiler has successfully passed its hydraulic pressure test. The Society has given its approval to 6989 Wightwick Hall to come to Quainton if the fund-raising to purchase and move the locomotive from Barry is successful. This venture is being carried out early with our friends in the 6024 RPS and Steve Turner who owns 9466 and we are insisting on the group adopting a charitable status.

Cosmetic treatment, as Peter Clarke calls it, has been given to 46447's boiler while the boiler removed from 41313 will be prepared for hydraulic test in due course of time.

On the four wheelers, Mick Hatton now has about half the tubes out of James, Dick Scott is similarly engaged on Scott, Ronnie Mitchell has resumed work on Millom inside the depot, and John Carter has persevered on injector problems with Swanscombe.

Before leaving the locos, apologies to Tarmac in quoting its birthplace as Park Royal in the summer issue. Nigel's pride and joy is, of course, a Bedford built loco. A final word about Osram. Ted and Dave are making a lovely job of restoration 'between the frames' and they know their way about the inspection pit in the up yard. And the fresh green gloss finishing coat makes the little Fowler look superb.

Carriage and Wagon Department:

Plenty of news in this issue but a note concerning the Cinema Coach which was not in use at the August Open Days as had been hoped. The electrics had been finished and tested but the problem was with the power supply. With a 3KW load at the station the cable from the incoming supply point at the depot has a voltage drop of 40 volts and the additional length required to reach the cinema coach would have further reduced the voltage to an impossibly low level. Interior decoration continues by Mick and Bev Sell and they have decided to give the hardboard ceiling another coat of sealant.

A 'space-age' covering framed tarpaulin protection has been fitted over Railway Vehicles Preservations' LSWR milk-van which permits shunting without removal; a smart job. Thanks to Trevor Paice the GNR Brake coach has had its annual coat of white paint on the roof. The Met-GC Joint crane has had a face-lift and insurance inspection. Black paint, creosoted wood, red operating handles and buffer beams, and a white jib head and wheel tyres make the crane and it's match truck real eye-catchers. Bob Mellish's rail car is in running order again and his wife, Pam, has been busy repainting the wasp livery on the ends. Work has also been done on the petrol trolley and its flat trailer is being rebuilt.


Grateful thanks to those gallant enthusiasts who have done such good work this year on the refreshments, on the bottle stall and on the White Elephant stall. Thank you too for all the contributions from members. The income from these activities at Quainton is very welcome and the effort by all concerned is much appreciated. Especially, we would like to say how grateful we are to the ladies who have often laboured long baking and preparing sandwiches. Thank you again.

At the Restoration Building good progress has been made on the Brill end steelwork which will be carrying the shed doors and sheeting. Brick rubble hardcore has been delivered and placed in position for the foundation slabs for the future stores buildings which will be similar to the workshops in design. Concrete walkways have been formed across the end of the three shed roads and this improves access. David Potter, our O/C Stores is busy sorting out the loco spares and we are very glad to have the benefit of his knowledgeable approach to storekeeping. At the end of the up yard additional fencing has been erected on timber posts parallel with the BR line.

Permanent Way Department:

The double slip points at the end of the up yard road nearest the BR line is being dismantled for storage. All components are being marked for future identification. The buffer stops which were dragged from their former position at the end of the long siding by the station by Tarmac's efforts have been fixed at their new location at the Aylesbury end of the up side reception siding. On the down side 'main line' an overrun section has been created at the Aylesbury end and a 'Stop Board' installed in accordance with D of E recommendations. A lot of clearing up has been done in the down yard and most of the old chairs and sleepers have been collected for disposal. The next job to be tackled is the track extensions into the Wembley shed.

Locomotive Crew Training:

Members will have noticed the new notice board giving details of crew training activities. The Editor would like to apologise to Mr T B Miller for not recording the fact that he was Chief Mechanical Engineer of the LNER, on page 8 of the Summer issue, when referring to examinations for passenger train drivers.

Signal and Telegraph Department:

Plans are being prepared professionally for the proposed new mechanical signalling system which will be submitted to the D of E for approval. The section of the Tring ground frame will be accommodated in a signal cabin of relatively modern design which it is hoped to obtain from the London area early next year. Older signal boxes have been carefully considered but they are so often rotten and decayed and moving them is a real problem, so the choice of a cabin built more recently is wiser. The size of the new box is about 17ft long and 12ft wide and its arrival will bring new heart into S & T! Thanks to Dave Simcox, two more facing point locks have been fitted and one other adjusted. Additional items of signalling equipment have been obtained from St. Albans. Incidentally, we hear that the new West Hampstead panel box has been given the green light and this will modernise MR signalling down the line as far as Irchester.

The text in this Quainton Railway Society publication was written in 1976 and so does not reflect events in the 39+ years since publication. The text and photographs are repeated verbatim from the original publication, with only a few minor grammar changes but some clarifying notes are added if deemed necessary. The photos from the original publication are provided as scans in this internet version of this long out of print publication.

Reports from the Sections - Quainton News No. 29 - Autumn 1976

Text © Quainton Railway Society / Photographs © Quainton Railway Society or referenced photographer
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