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Windcutter Wagons

Discussion in 'Heritage Rolling Stock' started by Flying Phil, Dec 11, 2018.

  1. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Member

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    As older members will be aware, in the 1990's Steam Railway magazine initiated a scheme to purchase some of the last remaining 16T steel bodied Mineral Wagons. The project was very well received and the money raised eventually purchased 39 wagons, which were offered a home by the Great Central Railway. The aim of the project was "to recreate a lengthy train of mineral wagons". Three wagons subsequently went to the Manchester Museum of Science and Industry.
    A small group of volunteers were formed who have been working on the wagons to restore, repair and repaint them. At this point in time 34 wagons have run on the GCR and two remain un-restored but are cosmetically painted.
    The GCR usually run 18 wagons in a rake for operational reasons but can make up a longer train if required.
    It has been said in the GCR "Main Line" magazine that they wish to get two rakes of running wagons to be joined sometimes to recreate that "lengthy train".
    Now the Blaenavon and Pontypool Railway are raising money to fund a move of a number of wagons which are to be on a "long term loan".
    How does the wider readership on here view this, as there are several aspects to consider.....keep the collection together? Have some wagons go "On Tour" for fixed periods. Split the collection up between two or more locations?
     
  2. richards

    richards Well-Known Member

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    Depends on the availability of money, manpower, storage space and facilities to keep them maintained and running. If one railway no longer feels that it can provide this, it is surely better for some to find an alternative temporary home.
     
  3. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Member

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    One of the problems of keeping older goods rolling stock in running order is that the oiler pads become less effective both with time and lack of regular use. Thinking about 16T mineral wagons, I wonder how much tipping them up and over on coal hoists and raising them for end tipping, kept the bearing lubricated when they were running in service with BR?
     
  4. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Member

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    In the works at Rothley was one of our wagons with a "Handbrake problem". It turned out that the handbrake handle on one side was jumping out of its slot and falling down the locking slot causing the brakes to drag. On investigation, we found that the handle was not sitting square in the rest position and was naturally trying to move towards the locking slot. A bit of heat and leverage and the job is done. DSCF8134 Dave.JPG
     
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  5. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Resident of Nat Pres

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    We had an even simpler fix for the handwheels for the brakes on a few of our wagons - simply repaint the "off on" arrows in the opposite (and correct) direction!
     
  6. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Member

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    Meanwhile inside the shed B596329 is having attention. This is unusual as it has a 10' wheelbase as it originally started life as a "Palbrick". It was re-bodied in the 1970s. We thought it would be a relatively simple re-paint and brake check......
    As the floor turned out to be worse than feared when we got all the debris out it was a simple decision to cut out the floor above the brake cylinder and get that out for an overhaul! DSCF8136.JPG DSCF8137.JPG
     
  7. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Member

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    The cracks around the top have been repaired and new steel is going into the floor. DSCF8170.JPG
     
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  8. 7P6F

    7P6F Member

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    I contributed to the original appeal and since and would prefer the full rake to be on the GCR but as there's just one location at Kinchley lane left to photograph them with the withdrawal of lineside permits imminent I am more than happy to have them move to the P&BR with their many photo opportunities available.
     
  9. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Member

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    I believe that only "a number" are going away from the GC - there will still be enough there to recreate that "lengthy train" which is so impressive as it rumbles through the stations.
     
  10. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Member

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    DSCF8084.JPG DSCF8062.JPG
    These are the Windcutter wagons at Quorn that have been cosmetically painted. All but two have been restored and run in the rake in the past, but now need further work to get them in good running order.
     
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  11. Johann Marsbar

    Johann Marsbar Member

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    A bit off topic, but who actually owns that wooden 7- plank (?) coal wagon that is currently at the top end of the siding beyond the Quorn Windcutter wagons?
    Its had an appeal notice for restoration funds attached to it for some time but nothing appears to have happened to it so far........
     
  12. rloades

    rloades New Member

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    The wooden wagon is owned privately by a member of staff at the railway. It would be inappropriate for me to divulge any more than that. I would hazard a guess that the appeal hasn't reached its target, hence why the work on it hasn't started.

    it is my opinion that the wagon should be removed from the siding and put on a plinth somewhere in the yard. I say this because the wagon is now rather fragile and I don't know for how long it will stand effectively being an extension of the buffer stop.
     
  13. Steve

    Steve Part of the furniture Friend

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    Especially as it looks like none of the brakes have been pinned down on either side!
     
  14. rloades

    rloades New Member

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    Yes quite! Although, thankfully, the siding is downhill to the buffer stop.
     
  15. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Member

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    I wonder if that wooden wagon could go "up the branch" to Mountsorrel, as they have restored three or four, 5 plank, wagons. I am told that some Windcutter wagons have now been loaded up to go to South Wales.
     
  16. rloades

    rloades New Member

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    It'd have to be taken up there by lorry if that was even an option, I don't think it would survive being transported by rail in its fragile state.

    Ultimately it is up to the owner what happens to it, and I believe the owner wants it to remain on the stop block to attract donations to the appeal for its restoration.
     
  17. Steve

    Steve Part of the furniture Friend

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    Yes but you only have to hit the first wagon to set up a reaction right through to the last with no brakes pinned down to dissipate the energy. Ona down grade, too. The art of playing with loose coupled wagons is being lost.
     
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  18. Mattie Bee

    Mattie Bee New Member

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    What an ill informed comment. The handbrakes are defective and the wagon is chocked, handbrakes are applied to the 2 vehicles before the Wooden mineral. At the other end is a Palbrick, Grampus, Medfit and Dace with the brakes pinned.

    Edit: In fact if you look at the image the brake is pinned down on the wooden wagon
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2019
  19. Steve

    Steve Part of the furniture Friend

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    My comments were related to the earlier posting which referred to the fragility of the wooden wagon at the buffer stops. If the mineral wagons are chocked, fair comment but I did take a good look at the pictures posted before posting and saw no evidence of either brakes or chocks. Perhaps I need to go to specsavers again.
     
  20. rloades

    rloades New Member

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    I wouldn't expect all the brakes to be pinned, only 20% need be applied when stabled. For a rake of 14 vehicles, that's 2.8 wagons or 3 wagons. If the end 2 minerals are applied, and the wooden wagon then that is sufficient. Now that 5 are have been moved to Pontypool, the 2 steel minerals alone are sufficient.

    The wagons may be pinned down, but that says nothing about the condition of the siding or any potential contamination to the brake blocks or the rails. Being buried track in use throughout the year for road/rail steam events, contamination is likely. As Matt has said, the other end of the siding is 4 vehicles, with 2 hand brakes pinned down. My point was a hypothetical one, and more about taking the wagon out of harms way before its too late.
     

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