Thursday, 28 March 2013

Easter Steaming

Don't forget we are in steam this Good Friday and Easter Monday, 1pm to 5pm and with 25+ stationary steam engines we are the largest collection in the South of England. If all the engines don't warm you up the tea room will be serving hot drinks and home made cakes!

Tuesday, 26 March 2013


Having had a break from working on the box van a recent spell of work has now progressed it nicely. The rest of the body was completed. This might seem easy with the large panels that are forming it, however stainless steel is an awkward metal to work with. Coupled with the fact these sheets have two sheets sandwiching a polystyrene sheet. When cutting with a jigsaw one sheet has to be cut, the panel turned over and the second sheet cut. Cut too quickly and the stainless heats up, work hardens and rips all the teeth off the blade! Same goes when drilling, the aluminium channel that it sits in requires fast drilling speed and then has to be slowed for the stainless to ensure the drill bit survives!

Once the body was completed the tanalised timber decking was added and now awaits aluminium angle edging for the veranda entrances and door ways. The roof will be formed from rolled steel bar fixed to two timber wall plates, tanalised t&g planks with a fibreglass external finish leaving the timber exposed internally.

The pictures are not great as the light is poor in the workshop now the box van is so big!

Monday, 25 March 2013


Two more sleepers have come out of the mould. These were made from the 16 tonnes of delivered hardcore and so feature a more natural red/brown colour. The previous two used left over floor slab concrete.

Two more have been poured and will be released next weekend. The next job is to find a suitable insulating product to separate the rail from the sleeper to stop the vibrations of trains powdering the concrete below. This most likely will be a neoprene rubber pond liner or similar that can be found kicking around!

Thursday, 21 March 2013

'Sir Robert'

Confirmed for Steam on the Levels in May is a 1942 Scammell named 'Sir Robert' and it will be joining show regular Scammell 'Gentle Giant'. Come and see them both on the 18th & 19th May.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Spring Clean

With the steaming season rapidly approaching we put down our building tools and armed ourselves with cleaning equipment. The tea room has had a good clean through and the wall behind the counter has received a coat of paint to freshen it up and now features two new picture frames with images from around the site.

Outside the extension has been back filled around with hardcore and consolidated, excess materials and rubbish has been removed and the grass even got its first cut. Picnic benches are being erected on the new floor slab to provide some extra seating before the walls being to go up later in the spring.

Come and see what we have achieved over the winter on Good Friday and Easter Monday when we will be in steam.

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Sleepers sleeping

The first two sleepers have emerged from the mould today. These have been loaded onto a wagon to go to sleep for a while until stock has been increased to a level that enables a complete section of track to be taken up and relaid in one go. Hopefully the mould will be re-filled this coming Sunday with another two. If we can pour two a weekend we should be able to start relaying in the better weather!

Monday, 11 March 2013

Leaning Loo becomes famous!

Last Friday the leaning loo at the museum was featured by The Western Daily Press after a visitor sent them a photo of it. A surprise visit from the South West News Agency on Friday whilst we were pouring the floor slab has subsequently meant the loo has now ended up on the Daily Mail website!

Alan makes a good model don't you think!?

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Steaming Infrastructure

Lots of projects are being worked on providing new products but a few vital updates to the infrastructure that allows us to steam. Part of this system is a large storage tank of water that supplies the boiler during the day. It was temporarily put in a few years ago and was required to be at a set height, being achieved with the use of wooden pallets. After a couple of winters being soaked in water they had started to disintegrate and the tank was heading down towards the ground.

The solution was to use some of the newly delivered concrete blocks to form some piers and replace the tank back on top... and here it is complete! Doubtful that this will ever rot or sink!


Adrian and Christine are busy programming all the books in the shop into our new electronic point of sale system. This was purchased via a grant made available by the Arts Council. It is hoped that not only will it help with keeping an eye on accurate visitor numbers, stock control etc it will also be able to help us claim much more gift aid from the government.

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Painting and polishing!

Any one would think we just build extensions and play with railways with the news coming out of the trust recently. Far from it, volunteers are busy doing lots of work elsewhere as well!

The 15hp steam turbine (one of two) has seen a coat of ford blue and all the brass and copper elements skilfully polished with Brasso until everything gleamed! Why not come and see us at our next steaming... Check the website for dates.

Friday, 8 March 2013

Concrete concrete and yet more concrete

Today saw 10m3 of concrete poured into a reinforced 50m2 base. Hopefully the rain stays away for tonight until the surface has cured. It is now hoped to start building the walls up to wall plate height. This project is truly flying along, many thanks must be given to our dedicated team of volunteers who have put hours of work into getting things this far.

Thursday, 7 March 2013

WZLR plans featured in The Railway Magazine

The April edition of Railway Magazine features a small article on the planned future of the Westonzoyland Light Railway! Hopefully we can act on all the items featured and upgrade the line to carry passengers in the future!

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

WZLR Sleepers

As we are planning on pouring the concrete floor slab this coming Friday it was thought best to have some new moulds ready for casting sleepers in case some concrete was left over.

The original mould was made to fit some smaller rail. It was decided to make a new set of moulds that fit the profile of the largest rail to be used on the system, and any rail smaller can be shimmed with steel plates to the correct gauge.

One mould finished, which incorporates two sleepers. A jig was also created for the welding of the M12 threaded bar to the 12mm rebar. This then gets pushed in the pre drilled holes in the mould and the concrete poured in.

If time can be found another pair will be made before Friday to make the most of any waste!

WZLR Box Van

Well things have moved on since the completion of the overall chassis. All the pipe work for the air brakes has been completed and tested. The timbers for the base have been bolted on and the frame work and initial stainless steel panels have been cut and erected. The project is awaiting the availability of some aluminium angle to finish the corners. All the panels will be bolted with m6 coach bolts to give a rivet detail.

2/3 of the vehicle will form a secure box van for tool storage and will have a side door and door from the other 1/3 which will be a veranda for carrying the guard! This will feature the emergency air brake release valve and the hand brake for parking.

It is hoped to complete the van by Steam on the Levels in May and get it transported over. However watch this space!