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Bowes Railway News

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by Robkitchuk, Sep 3, 2014.

  1. Robkitchuk

    Robkitchuk Member

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    A new page to update everyone on what is happening at Bowes and our steps towards a working railway.

    Track clearance has continued focusing on Springwell yard, the level crossing and part way up the East Incline. This clearance has allowed the track to be examined - its been found to be in very sound condition and with further clearance essentially operational.

    Rope haulage - Clearance of the Blackhams hill site of vegetation to allow further maintenance. hauler house cleaned in preparation for power switch on in the near future. Hopefully allowing the hauler to flex its muscles soon.

    Work has commenced on sanding down and repainting brakevan two to provide a passenger vehicle for the 2015 season.
     
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  2. Robkitchuk

    Robkitchuk Member

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    Another update on progress, No 22 rides again and is now operational. Work has also been continuing on updating the railways rule book and creation of a SMS to allow us to commence operations again in the 2015 season all being well.
    The work on the brakevans has continued with two operational vehicles now almost ready.
    The site wide tidy up is now finished with all the wood heading in the direction of the Bonfire for November 5th.
    Finally track clearance has continued with a contractor now working on clearing the full running line.
    The railway continues to open the first weekend of every month.
     
  3. StoneRoad

    StoneRoad Member

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    Glad to hear of the progress - it is long overdue.
    Best Wishes for the future, Bowes Railway is truly unique.
     
  4. Robkitchuk

    Robkitchuk Member

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    Latest news...
    Painting around the site continues with all the shutters and first aid room now being painted.
    The car park has been cut down hopefully for the last time this year.
    The railway has been cut back with all the track now cleared of vegetation cleared from Springwell to the Platform at Blackhams hill almost half of the line. This is now strimmed, weedkilled and all point rodding is greased, operational and functioning as expected.
    In the yard shunting is taking place to better display the waggons and to allow a better view of the bonfire for the 5th November. Whilst the replacement of chairs, keys and rail within the yard has seen this area becoming more useable than before.
    Finally Number 22 is steamable and has recently had its gaskets replaced whilst the Hunslet and Planet are running having recently had their oil topped up.
     
  5. Robkitchuk

    Robkitchuk Member

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    Latest update...
    The big shunt has continued after our very successful bonfire night we have sorted our the waggons in workable and deads and these are now separated to allow improved operations.
    Track work has continued with 30 chairs replaced so far in the yard.
    Track and point maintenance up the railway is now progressing well. The points up the railway are now oiled, tightened and the fish plates greased so we are now operational all the way to Blackhams hill with the Hunslet running up to Blackhams for the first time in a year today.
    Tidying the platform has been completed with the undergrowth being removed from the steps and platform edges.
    We are slowly moving towards a working railway again.
     
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  6. Robkitchuk

    Robkitchuk Member

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    The Winter weather has delayed progress somewhat but here goes our latest update.
    Brake van 2 is now fully sanded down and is now just ready for the application of undercoat.
    The track itself is now cleared and maintained as far as the Waggon Inn level crossing, this means three quarters of the railway is now clear to operate.
    The unique waggon fleet is beginning to receive attention with a list of the possible candidates for overhaul drawn up and the first of these will be brought into the waggon shop shortly.
    Finally we have restarted moving equipment back into the waggon shop after the completion of refurbishment work by English heritage.
     
  7. The Saggin' Dragon

    The Saggin' Dragon Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

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    Great work. I will hopefully be back for another look before too long :)
     
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  8. Robkitchuk

    Robkitchuk Member

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    An update for everyone, work is continuing on site with fish plate greasing under way. We have continued to clear vegetation and are installing fencing and dragons teeth on crossings in line with railway inspectors guidelines. The passenger stock is now all repainted whilst Merlin and 22 are now avaliable for traffic. Everything is looking bright for a return to service in 2016.
     
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  9. Steve

    Steve Part of the furniture Friend

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    That's really good news. What is the situation with the rope haulages?
     
  10. Robkitchuk

    Robkitchuk Member

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    We are currently putting all efforts into getting trains running and tidying up the site at Springwell to make it a bit more visitor friendly. But we have sorted out all the rope haulage roller (the rope guides in the centre of the 4ft, to allow these to be reinstated). Whilst clearance work has taken place around the Blackhams hill hauler house.
     
  11. Robkitchuk

    Robkitchuk Member

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    Alot of progress at the railway, repainting of the guards vans is now complete. Resleepering has continued with only 23 left to replace! Whilst we are now required to fit crossing guards on all four pedestrian crossings and improve fences before fingers crossed a return to running passengers trains at Easter - after a 3 year gap.
     
  12. Robkitchuk

    Robkitchuk Member

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    First open days of 2016 will be the 6th and 7th February. The site will be open for tours, entry by donation between 10 and 3 both days.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2016
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  13. Robkitchuk

    Robkitchuk Member

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    The Hunslet will be providing shunting demonstrations on Saturday and a demonstration coal train on Sunday. Hunslet_full-1024x682.jpg
     
  14. Steve

    Steve Part of the furniture Friend

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    Whilst it shouts Hunslet, there is something not quite right with that engine casing. Has it been modified?
     
  15. Robkitchuk

    Robkitchuk Member

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    I think it's as supplied Steve. There are only three of this design I'm aware of of, ours, snibstons 060 and the other 4 wheeler on the Dean forest. I'm going to do some digging now...
     
  16. Robkitchuk

    Robkitchuk Member

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    Forest of deans loco. Only difference being the hole at the front on ours for providing a belt drive to machinery. 5622_Don_Corbett_Dean_Forest_Railway.JPG
     
  17. tor-cyan

    tor-cyan Member

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    It also seems to have a large inspection platform attached to the cab roof. :rolleyes:

    Colin
     
  18. Robkitchuk

    Robkitchuk Member

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    Yes that was from its days on the Harton electric railway, haha.
     
  19. Steve

    Steve Part of the furniture Friend

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    That's interesting. Virtually every Hunslet diesel I've seen, both in the flesh and in pictures, has a 'Hunslet' plate across the top of the bonnet (U/G locos excepted, although many of these had such a plate). This bonnet design does not have sufficient room for a standard one and, if it was an original design, I would have still expected a smaller version to be there. No sign of any mounting holes, either.
     
  20. Robkitchuk

    Robkitchuk Member

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    Hunslet_front.jpg well would it help with this picture of the front of the Hunslet. The loco is actually rear engined so the original view is the back of the loco.
     
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