Work on the Geoffrey Briddon Building has taken up much of our time. Having had contractors in to prepare the ground, it was determined that the floor would need to be cast in 3 stages – firstly the two 'track slabs' (which will form recesses in the finished arrangement) then the final 'floor' in two sections.
After preparation of shuttering and reinforcing mesh the track slabs were cast in mid-June, and while still wet pre-prepared pads carrying cast-in sockets were pressed in ready to accept flat bottom rail on resilient pads. The result was left to harden, and then the shuttering stripped out and the whole process begun again, this time forming a 'U' shape up each side of the eastern side track with a 'daywork joint' slightly offset from the centre of the building. The second pour was made on July 4th and at last gives us something beginning to resemble a work area. At the time of writing, the final pour is booked for July 18th, and mesh is being prepared and shuttering around the western track is in process.
At the Matlock end of the site Peak Rail has commenced the re-arrangement of the yard, with the two extant turnouts being re-sleepered and the former catch point being transformed into a full turnout and headshunt. Much of the rail in the yard is life-expired so relaying all 3 sidings is planned to bring it up to standard and adjust levels to connect with the shed.
14 901 has continued in service 2 days per week, but blotted its copybook on June 28th when 'everything stopped' as it rolled back into Rowsley. Unable to trace the problem at the time, it was puled off the train and Cheedale brought out in the hope of continuing the service. But alas, Cheedale's vac brake controls refused to function. The cause of the problem on 14 901 turned out to be a defective 5 amp fuse, not from electrical over-current but from old age/vibration.
14 901 is booked to attend the Class 14's 50th gala event at Bury, and will be away from Peak Rail from the 21st to the 28th July.
Sentinel 'Tom' continues in traffic at Scunthorpe, and a replacement spring is in hand.
Work on the cab plating has been pursued of late, with various corroded sections being cut out and replaced. Scunthorpe volunteers have taken in hand needle-gunning and priming the cab, so that the locomotive can appear in a good cosmetic state for the October gala. The front rh buffer has been stripped and revealed that at some time someone has 'repaired' it by simply removing the outer of the two springs!
Remains out of traffic. The water pump has been removed for attention, but nothing has yet been put in hand.
A reworked water pump has been obtained and is being fitted.
Charlie continues in Peak Rails' works traffic, and has received a new coat of paint.
Work continues spasmodically on Libby, dependent on time availabilities, with casing top, exhaust and air inlet systems having been refitted.
Cheedale received a service some weeks ago and the opportunity was taken to return the air cleaner to its original location on the left hand side of the casings (it was moved to the right to make way for the donkey-engined compressor set),. It continues in Peak Rail service, nornmally shunting in the loco shed area at Rowsley. However it was called on to tail a train to Matlock on June 28th, but as the vac brake system could not be made to work it did so loose-coupled and brought the train back to Rowsley – non-stop – as empty stock.