Thursday, 29 April 2010

Lots going on and a new locomotive

John, today's Garden Line guard
Today did not start as a blog day, it was just a visit with number one son and grandma as mum is in hospital having given birth to number two son on Tuesday. I wonder if in the next eighteen months or so he will have a similar fascination with trains and cars. I'm sure that if his older brother has anything to do with it he will!

However, things happen and I started chatting to a couple of people. As a result I have several updates worthy of posting.

New locomotive 'Bevan' being built

Chassis for new 2ft
locomotive 'Bevan'. The
curved bracket towards the
top of the photograph will
support the boiler
The workshop at Bressingham is a place where clever things happen (perhaps the subject of a future blog post). It is staffed with skilled engineers (both employees and volunteers) who are passionate about steam and use their skills to keep Bressingham's trains (and Gallopers) running. When things invariably break they can usually adapt parts to fit, and if this is not possible they will fabricate new parts from scratch.

One of their current projects is Bevan, named after the late Bevan Braithwaite, former chairman of Bressingham Steam Preservation Trust. Bevan is a scratch built 2ft locomotive with the chassis and boiler having been donated by Bevan's wife and will be used alongside Bronllwyd on the Nursery Line. Prior to Bronllwyd being taken out of service for a complete overhaul and inspection in the next couple of years, Bevan will be able to give her a rest as she is currently working extremely hard.

I do not have a timescale for when Bevan will be on operational duties, but as soon as I have any information I will of course provide an update. Watch this space as they say.

Currently the chassis is sitting in the workshop awaiting the next stage of assembly. John whom I met on my induction day thought it would be interesting to show what is under the skin, so I popped in to the dark workshop, hoping that the combination of ISO3200 and a fast prime lens would get me something usable. Hopefully on my next visit I will be able to spend some time with a tripod to hand.

Front of locomotive

Front left of locomotive showing piston (L) and driving rods (R)

View from right hand side looking forwards

Rear right hand side showing wheel linkage

Waveney Valley Line platform improvements

Chris laying the new surface
At the Teddy Bear Day last Sunday the Waveney Valley Line was not operating, and when riding on the Nursery Line as it crosses the Waveney Valley Line by the dodgems, I noticed Chris hard at work with shovel in hand. Today I saw him again and wandered down for a chat to find out what was happening. He explained that the arrivals platform needed attention, and he was laying a new surface to improve the drainage and to stop people from having to walk in the mud when alighting. Each bucket load from the tractor had to be spread out by hand ready for tamping down in the next day or two - the aim being to have everything finished for the Waveney Valley Line to operate on the coming Bank Holiday weekend.

Drainage improvements
Part of the improvement work involved replacing a 4" drainage pipe that passed under the platform with something more substantial as the area was susceptible to flooding when the nearby ditch overflowed. Why am I writing about a drainage pipe? Well, it is a combination of all these seemingly minor tasks which goes on behind the scenes (often unnoticed) that is vital in helping to maintain the infrastructure and keep the trains at Bressingham running.

Plans for a new 5" & 7.25" line

Many improvements are planned for
this area including a 5" & 7.25"
miniature railway
Another project which is being planned is to landscape the area around the dodgems and the Waveney Valley Line arrivals platform, and then lay both 5" and 7.25" track so that it will support two gauges. I must stress that this is the plan and it's early stages at the moment. Over the last few months Chris explained that 80-90 tons of soil had been brought in to the area to help fill in a large hole and that drainage improvements had also been undertaken in preparation. Do you have some spare time and fancy being involved in this exciting new project? Then call 01379 686900 and ask about volunteering or visit for more information.

Thanks to Chris for sharing the plans and the details on Bevan.

Prints for the Ticket Office

Brian on the Nursery Line
A while ago I offered to make some prints from some of my Bressingham photographs and get them mounted and framed to hang in the ticket office. Today I was given the go ahead, so I will be busy making some large prints over the next few days. I am hoping that they will be hanging on the walls later in May, so keep a look out for them next time you visit and let me know what you think.

1 comment:

  1. Gosh, and I thought ~I~ had a lot of groundwork to do!


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