Sunday, 28 April 2013

Not so deep wells

Today the deep well pump 'well' was being constructed. Last week we cast a 6" concrete slab in the hole and now we have sat the tank on that slab, filled it with water and poured a fair few mixes of concrete around the tank. Some shuttering was used to contain it all. Once this has gone off some pipe work will connect it to the fresh water system that the other deep well and the water wheel operate on. This is a complicated bit of design that would take far to long to explain here but needless to say the water in the tanks get changed slowly over a period of turning all the pumps on and off.

We will then build up either a cast concrete base or a block work base with brick skin ready to sit the pump on. An electric motor has been donated by a volunteer that is rated at 2hp and graham who has rebuilt the pump is going to design and machine a suitable flat belt pulley to go on the motor.

Watch this space! And whilst we had the concrete mixer out another two sleepers were poured. Total now stands at 12 with another 12 to go before running our of rebar.

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Last days...

Yes it's the last few days to get entry forms in for Steam on the Levels on the 18th&19th of May. Quirky and unusual exhibits welcomed alongside an already bulging event that should prove to be a great success. See for entry form and more information.

And on another note, we are always looking for help over this weekend. If you fancy joining the trust and volunteering to help keep things smoothly operating over the weekend please get in touch to

Monday, 22 April 2013

Visiting Loco... Steam on the Levels

Narrow Gauge Lister Railtruck number 56371 will be visiting the Westonzoyland Light Railway over the Steam on the Levels weekend. It will be joining the railways resident Lister Railtruck and Simplex locomotives in freight duties delivering cut wood from the wood store to the Marshall boiler. Railway demonstrations, shunting etc will be carried out on both days the 18th & 19th of May, 10am - 5pm, see

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Bits and pieces

Today our member who is restoring the large deep well pump was discovered 6ft down a hole! Although a start had been made with a mechanical digger the hole needed to be twice the depth without the diameter, so hand digging it was! Once deep enough a 6" pad of concrete was poured to sit a blue plastic drum to form the 'deep well'. Once filled with water it will back filled with concrete and rubble before being capped off and the pump plinth cast over the top.

We are still looking for a suitable single phase 3hp motor to drive it...

Also the boiler building had some timber frame added and 3 sheets of tin secured to it! This will form one wall of the boiler cabin it is replacing. Next job is to prepare to build the rest so that we can be in the position to remove the old one first.

Another section of boiler cladding has also been applied, just one more section over the firebox to go. Results will be posted once the next steamings are over on the 6th&7th and hopefully our fuel consumption will reduce dramatically!

Sunday, 14 April 2013


Today has been all about cladding! With the boiler receiving its overcoat the need to protect it from the rain becomes greater. The end gable had been framed with timber but needed finishing with cladding. With some vertical t&g, fascia board and some artistic flair the gable end was completed, some 6x2 timber was also bolted on to form a fascia for fixing guttering to later. Now this is complete we will start to frame up the new boiler cabin ready to remove the old one from inside!

Plus some work was done to some display boards. These board were put up many years ago, the backing was of mdf and surprising they lasted this long. Most had fallen off in the last year so were are re backing them with ecoboard which is a 18mm thick sheet of recycled plastic. This will never rot and as the sun doesn't get to it won't break down in the sun!

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Putting a coat on!

Just after Christmas the Trust decided to make funds available for one of our members to construct a series of steel panels to form an insulation/finishing layer to the Marshall Boiler. As it stands the boiler is technically naked and therefore has high levels of heat loss leading to poor efficiencies.

The cladding panels have been formed in 3 main sections and will have stainless steel bands to hold it in position. On the inside of the rolled sheets rockwool has been installed ensuring as much heat as possible is retained. Handles have also been incorporated to help with installation and removal, the whole lot will be painted once completed.

Hopefully the installation will see a dramatic reduction in fuel consumption as more and more steam engines are connect up to the system.

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Steamings come and gone...

The two Easter steamings have come and gone and proved very successful despite the bitter winds. Of course with every steaming comes the dreaded cutting, sorting and loading of timber onto the wagons. Thankfully with Sunday not being a steaming day some time was found to get out the chainsaws and prepare for Easter Monday, having emptied all the wagons.

It's been a long time since the whole train has been pulled out so here are a couple of shots, before and after!

Of course we will be doing it all again as we are in steam this coming Sunday for the first Sunday of the month!