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Spa Valley Railway - Latest News

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by matt41312, Jan 15, 2014.

  1. Jonnie

    Jonnie Member

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    The Sunday of the Gala is scheduled to be its last public runs with us, it might undertake Driver Experience on the Monday.
     
  2. Jonnie

    Jonnie Member

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    If anyone's interested I've just updated our loco roster through until the end of May, the Class 33 or 31 allocations will depend on the Diesel Drivers I have when I complete the crew roster this weekend. Ugly remains our sole Eridgeable Steam engine.

    http://www.spavalleyrailway.co.uk/enthusiasts/Loco_Roster/
     
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  3. ykin01

    ykin01 Member

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    Thanks for sharing the update... I'm doing the steam driver on 22nd May so its nice to know in advance what I'll be driving, cant wait! :D
     
  4. Jonnie

    Jonnie Member

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    I won't be there myself but you'll be in good hands, it takes around 45 minutes to complete a round trip to Birchden.
     
  5. ykin01

    ykin01 Member

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    Looking forward to it, I assume there'll be ample photo opportunities too?
     
  6. Jonnie

    Jonnie Member

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    They usually stop at Groombridge for a photo opportunity and there's usually a couple of minutes at Birchden too.
    We have our own camera so can take photos at various locations but feel free to bring your own too.
     
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  7. ykin01

    ykin01 Member

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    Excellent, thank-you for the extra info.
     
  8. Nvincer

    Nvincer New Member

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    When you say Eridgeable, does that hint that the Polish tank cannot go to Eridge?

    Apologies for the ignorance!

    From a visitors perspective, I had a very pleasant visit down to the line last weekend, very enjoyable and was made to feel very welcome by all :)
     
  9. Jonnie

    Jonnie Member

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    Spartan yes isn't Eridgeable, she's a bit too fat above the waistline so to speak.

    Very glad you had enjoyable day, we aim to please!
     
  10. matt41312

    matt41312 Member

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    Just to follow on from what Jonnie said, one of our agreements with Network Rail is that we will only operate locos that are within British loading gauge on the Eridge section. As a result of Spartan being built to European gauge, it puts her out of the question. Interestingly the Churnet Valley has just undertaken an exercise to make Spartan's sister loco, 2944 'Hotspur' narrower in a bid to make it more gauge friendly. I haven't seen close up photos so cannot comment on what's been done.

    News from elsewhere on the railway:

    Jinty 47493 - Another work party yesterday resulted in more valve gear being removed, cleaned and stored. There's not much more to come off except the slide bars and crossheads and slipper blocks. Work still continues in the smokebox to break out the concrete.

    'Spartan' - Currently out of traffic awaiting some boiler work. Hopefully will be back in traffic soon.

    15T crane - Bodywork is progressing very well on this vehicle. Once all sanding is complete, the next stage is to clean it up and start looking at the electrics.

    33065 'Sealion' - Bodywork repairs are progressing very well. Considering the amount of work required, it is certainly looking good.

    MK1 TSO - The major overhaul of this vehicle is progressing well with it currently sitting on the Matterson jacks. All being well this will be lowered shortly to allow a shed shunt to take place which will involve the Class 73 coming in for bodywork.

    That pretty much rounds off the work currently ongoing in the shed at Tunbridge Wells. Lastly we have been fortunate to obtain a good condition second hand horizontal boring machine which now means we can machine locomotive axleboxes. With 18 of these to undertake over the next 3 years, it will mean a considerable saving compared to getting this work done by an external contractor.

    Matt
     
  11. burmister

    burmister Member

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    And outside the shed our unique DEMU, 1317 is getting closer to the starting button being pushed. I suspect Johnnie and Matt will be glad when it is finally running again as it causes mayhem on running days getting it into the yard to be worked on. Having got the overhauled turbo back in position and the decision taken to renew all flexible hoses, I was not happy with the alignment of the pipes between the replacement class 205 engine and the class 207 bodywork piping. It appears the engines and generators might be the same between the two classes, but the mountings and pipework is ever so slightly different. To get these into proper alignment has required even more pipes and valves to be taken off, new hoses fitted in different locations, pipes bent etc so I have considerably overrun on my estimated time for returning 1317 to service. We have also cleaned up the inside of the engineroom, stripping back to bare metal any peeling paint etc on walls and roof to match the rubbed down and repainted engine block and generator rather than just paint over existing finishes. However the engine and radiator system is now full and watertight and my team say that when I start talking of getting the Brasso out the job must be nearly finished. We have got a good team going with 1317 so we will transfer across to work on 1317's centre coach which I have agreed to project manage. New rolls of Trojan moquette from Holdsworths were bought for the seating last week.

    Brian
     
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  12. Jonnie

    Jonnie Member

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    BREAKING NEWS

    The Spa Valley Railway is pleased to announce, courtesy of the 6LDA Group and the Bo'ness and Kinneil Railway that BR Class 26 26038 'Tom Clift' will be visiting us for our biggest to date Summer Diesel Gala running from Friday 1st - Sunday 3rd August.

    Also staring will other visiting locomotive Class 31 31206 and resident Class 33 33063 'R.J.Mitchell', Class 37 37254 'Driver Robin Prince MBE', Class 73 73140 (freshly re-painted), Class 10 D3489 'Colonel Tomline' and also Class 207 DEMU 1317!

    Over the three day event there'll be Beer, Cider, BBQ, Rare Track, Cab Rides, Brake Van Rides, Evening Fish & Chip Supper, Driver for a Tenner and Driver for a Fiver as well as plenty of thrash all throughout the event from early morning until late evening!

    Please visit:http://www.spavalleyrailway.co.uk/events/Summer_Diesel_Gala_-_1st_-_3rd_August_2014/ for full details of our Summer Gala and to also book in advance!
     
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  13. matt41312

    matt41312 Member

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    ENGINEERING BLOG SPOT - 13TH APRIL 2013

    With only a small team around this week it was difficult to anticipate huge progress, however by the end of the day there was lots to be seen on Sutton.

    The new tank shroud has now been completed including strengthening bracing on the rear of the new sheet to match the original. This was completed with the addition of the mounting bolts to the tank, requiring the shroud to be mounted on the tank for a period whilst new holes were drilled and positioned. The mounting bolts were then welded on to the tank.

    Whilst on the subject of tanks, one of our smaller members was on site today to enable the internals of the second tank to be painted. Leak testing should be able to commence very soon as a result of this.

    The wheels also saw some attention today with all 6 being rubbed down and more paint applied. By the end of the day the comments from the team were these require no further filling but just paint now; a major step forward!

    Lastly, another chap completed the rubbing down of the first set of side rods and applied paint to the right parts.

    Away from Sutton, some extra work was undertaken on Ingrid's brake rigging. Unfortunately this required extra sanding work than planned due to a previously applied paint finish.

    Next week should be our Jinty works party but due to the Easter holidays expect more progress on Sutton, as we slip 47493 back a week. However don't worry, the following week we are anticipating the removal of her side tanks so if you want to see her in semi completed state, Sunday 27th will be your last chance for a couple of years.

    Matt
     
  14. wcmlbls1846

    wcmlbls1846 Well-Known Member

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  15. burmister

    burmister Member

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    Very nice photos Andrew,

    Demics are North Downs ( flangeless midde wheels so not suitable for Eridge) Samson ( same class as Ugly) and Topham

    The old Signal Box is in fact Eridge, Birchden Junc no longer exists ( apart from the frame as you mentioned) and indeed its location is very hard to spot now.

    The Oxted DEMU 1317 was passed back into service tonight and I should be driving it on Friday 30th. After the turbo was repaired and replaced we had a problem with a load regulator relay which has delayed the return to service. The centre coach is now up at Tunbridge Wells Loco shed for its restoration to commence.

    Brian
     
  16. matt41312

    matt41312 Member

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    BREAKING NEWS
    Jonnie will no doubt fill you in but the Spa Valley will be hosting a third visitor for the Summer Diesel Gala.

    Class 33/2 33202 will be visiting the railway for a month or so en-route between Swanage and the Epping and Ongar Railway.

    Elsewhere the Jinty has now had it's side tank lifted and placed in store.

    Sutton's second water tank has been filled with water and yielded very few leaks. The shroud cover is now almost complete too.

    Work on the steam front will now move into the yard over the next month to prepare various boilers for lifting and yard clearance. Our next challenge is to lift the Jinty's boiler but we need to tie this into other works to make best use of the crane whilst on site.

    Before all this we are withdrawing Ugly from traffic for two weeks for maintenance and a washout. All help is greatfully received.

    Our small diesel shunter, Southerham is almost ready to be lowere back onto its wheels, although the frames still require painting.

    Matt
     
  17. Jonnie

    Jonnie Member

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    To follow on from what Matt has posted, Class 33/2 33202 'Dennis.G.Robinson' will be visiting us for the Summer Diesel Gala (1st - 3rd August), the visit of this locomotive is one very appropriate to the route with the 33/2s being built to operate on the Hastings Line (with its narrow tunnels) which of course we used to connect to at Grove Junction.

    33202 will be operating with other BR Blue Sulzer locomotive Class 26 26038 which is also visiting us however staying for longer (until October), the BR Blue pair will operate double headed and possibly in multiple on our Saturday evening Real Ale Train (see here: http://www.spavalleyrailway.co.uk/events/Fish_and_Chip_Supper__Real_Ale_Special!/). During 33202s visit over the Gala we will be pairing the locomotive with resident Class 33/0 33036 'R.J.Mitchell', operating 202 with 1317 (BR Blue train) and also running the loco with our other narrow Southern region locomotive Class 73 73140 (which will be freshly re-painted).

    Other locomotives operating will be 37254 (Intercity) and visiting Class 31 31206 (Dutch) which will operate the Friday night Curry Express train top and tailed with 37254 - see here: http://www.spavalleyrailway.co.uk/events/Curry_Express!/

    This is our biggest Diesel Gala to date and commences at 0800hrs on the Friday and reaches its end at 1830 on the Sunday, the only hours we'll go quiet for are when our volunteers will need some sleep! Although Diesel traction isn't everyone's cup of tea the Summer Diesel Gala it is an event we run to generate the railway much needed income and is from a net profit perspective the 3rd biggest event we run, only overtaken by Thomas & Santa's. All money made gets ploughed straight back into the railway for its future and continued development.

    It is also hoped for the Summer Diesel Gala to have part of Groombridge Signal Box in working order, the first time moving signals have controlled trains on the route since its closure on the 6th July 1985!

    Jonnie
     
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  18. Jonnie

    Jonnie Member

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    An update from Spa: Our two Metropolitan T-Stock coaches are up for sale as well as Diesel Shunter Princess Margaret.

    A detailed page on our website with a link to a contact email address regarding sales or long term hire is available on there, please see the following link: http://www.spavalleyrailway.co.uk/enthusiasts/For_Sale/
     
  19. Jonnie

    Jonnie Member

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    A bit of an update on things at the Spa Valley Railway.

    Our Summer Diesel Gala has now passed, the event attracted a huge number of visitors and brought us some much needed income. The event also saw the commissioning of Groombridge Signalling Scheme Phase 1, yes that's right the Spa Valley Railway now has working signalling! Four signals so far have been commissioned working along with the points just outside the signal box themselves. A huge step forward and a major hurdle overcome at last, photographs of the historic occasion can be found on the railways Facebook page which is linked to at the bottom of my postings.

    We are also able to announce the visit or Hunslet Austerity 'Walkden'.

    "The Spa Valley Railway is pleased to announce the medium term hire of Hunslet Austerity Locomotive No.3155/1944 'Walkden' until the end of June 2015.

    The locomotive, usually based at the Ribble Steam Railway, is due to arrive later this week and will provide cover for RSH No.62 'Ugly' which has operated all of our Eridge Steam services so far this year.

    'Walkden' was built to aid the war effort and dispatched to France following it's construction spending most of it's working life away from the UK, even being owned by the Netherlands State Railways until the late 1970s.

    The locomotive was cosmetically restored for the Southport Steam Museum however moved to Preston in April 1999. Following restoration, which included work to the boiler, cylinder re-bores, new plate work & piston rings.

    'Walkden' returned to service at the Ribble Steam Railway in 2008 and will now share the workload with 'Ugly', this includes our revamped Santa Special services starting at Eridge in December 2014."
     
  20. Jonnie

    Jonnie Member

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    'Walkden ' has now arrived at the Spa and will commence operating once it's had an inspection.

    Long term resident Andrew Barclay shunter 'Princess Margaret' No.376 has also left the railway for it's new home and restoration, the loco was sold privately in July.

    We shall announce Walkden's first runs soon.
     

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