Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Steaming up...

A reminder that we are in steam this coming Sunday the 2nd of September and the following Sunday for the Heritage Open Days event. See the website for more info www.wzlet.org

T2 & T3

Having completed a successful casting of a smaller sleeper a second was produced from the other half bag of cement. These have both been installed on the railway alongside the first bulkier version. Test sleeper 2&3 will be monitored over the coming months but we are confident that they will perform.

Hopefully a clear out of the traverser shed will give us some dry space to cast further sleepers in batches of up to 10 at a time. These will be stock piled in readiness for relaying sections of the main line.

Monday, 20 August 2012

external works

Having completed the one concrete sleeper we have trialled another to reduce the amount of cement needed. This meant reducing volume so we took the chamfer off the outer edges and reduced the depth by 30mm. It now means we can produce 2 sleepers from one 25kb bag of cement instead of just the one. It is shown below just out of the mold still drying.

Also on site the pile of hardcore is slowing disappearing as our kind neighbour has found a use for it and is using his JCB to move it away. Hopefully we will have a clear and level site for us to be able to consider new exhibition hall buildings.

the engineering continues...

Graham one of our newer members (although he has now nearly worked his magic on more engines than many of the longer standing members) has been sorting out our latest acquisition, a Lister Deep Well Pump. This pump is the second in our collection with the first running via. an electric motor beside the waterwheel. However this Deep Well Pump is much bigger! It will stand at nearly 6 and half feet tall and when operating a pump in a well would require a 6hp engine.

It is going to be installed between the existing deep well pump and the water wheel. With only 18 inches of pump on the bottom we hope to only need a 3hp electric motor to run it. Another item for those non-steam open days!

Snodland Winch

The Snodland Winch (a nickname based on its working location in Kent) or Clarke Chapman Diagonal Winch was last used for lifting equipment from boreholes. It is a very powerful winch with two speeds and a foot operated brake. For quick reversing it is fitted with Stephenson's Link valve gear.

After being installed in the Wiggly Shed the winch was only fixed to 2 large sleepers. When running it had a tendency to jump around a bit! Having fitted some shuttering around the outside and a good few mixes of concrete it now runs very smoothly. It was however in need of a repaint and so Harold has been busy painting away and is currently showing up all the other engines in that exhibition!

river contractors train

With some further improvements to the design of the new fixed couplings on the WZLR a set has been fabricated for the Piling Winch Truck. This piece of kit cam from the Water Board and was possibly built by them. It is based around a Hudson truck with the axle boxes spread apart to give a longer wheel base. The Ransomes Piling Winch that is attached to the top would have connected to the pile block via a rope running over a portable tripod with pully. The whole arrangement would have been moved along the bank on jubilee type rails to aid the repair of river banks.

Here we are running it with the new drop side wagon and the Simplex Locomotive. Now the couplings are sorted we hope to get a fuel tank sorted for it and run it on as many open days as possible.

Monday, 13 August 2012

casting concrete

With the railway sleepers rotting away before our eyes and the hope that we would like to upgrade the railway to a better standard, it has pushed us into some experimentation! 

Having seen another railway produce there own sleepers fit for passenger running, we thought we would try the same. After knocking up a mold from some scrap plywood, welding some rebar to threaded bar we were ready to cast.

To make the concrete we opted for a nice strong mix 3:1 ballast:cement with added glass fibre reinforcement. Having poured the mix into the mold it was vibrated to remove any trapped air using a rather rough running Briggs and Stratton engine! 

Left to set for a week it was released from the mold, transported to the museum and fitted in replacement of a particularly rotten timber sleeper. This will remain here for a bit to test its strength and ensure it doesn't crack with continued use and high loads. Even the colour hasn't turned out to be too bad as the ballast used comes from an area of red rock (quantocks?) which gives a more earthy colour than some which give a very light grey.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

A railway journey

With the museum in steam this past Sunday we took to opportunity to take some film of the journey from one end of the Westonzoyland Light Railway to the other to highlight the possibilities of passenger running for visitors. This of course would only be possible if the railway under goes a great deal of upgrading and gets passed out by the relevant authorities. Would you take a ride on an open day if the railway was giving rides?

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Steaming up!

Just a reminder that we are in steam this Sunday, 1pm - 5pm. All steam exhibits are in doors so what ever the weather come and see the largest collection of stationary steam engines and pumps in the South of England!