Watercress Line

Coronavirus / Covid-19 Update

Our priority during the Coronavirus / Covid-19 outbreak, and the railway's closure, is on meeting our running costs. We need around £75,000 per month. Without this income, within a relatively short period we will exhaust our reserves which are so important us for our long term plans.

Although these are difficult times for all of us, we are asking you to consider providing financial support to the railway. With your support, ideally through a monthly standing order, the railway can be in a safe and good position to move forward rapidly when circumstances allow.

The amount is up to you as everyone’s circumstances are different, but please give as generously as you can. One-off donations would also be welcomed.

Thank you.

Visit our donation page to make a monthly gift or donate a single amount.

You can also text WATERCRESS to 70085 to donate £10. Texts cost £10 plus one standard rate message.

Ropley Loco Wednesday Gang - 31st May 2017 – Something for all tastes

Back to Ropley for some more recreational engineering.  Many of us have found “projects” that we’re interested in, whilst others just turn up and take pot luck. Either way, there’s always plenty to do.

Our regular reader will have noticed the absence of a blog for last week.  That was caused by two fairly major events.  The “wannacry” ransomware attack led to me running around to make sure all the computers at Ropley were up-to-date with windows and anti-virus updates. As it turned out, we were in good shape but a couple of PCs needed to be re-configured for various reasons.  The other big event was my daughters family coming to stay with us while they house-hunt in the sunny south.  There’s not much time for blog-writing with an active 2-year-old around, so blogs may be a bit sporadic for a while.

The “project work” continued with Les-and-the-bogiemen re-fitting painted springs back onto Swanage’s bogie, and starting to drill out the loose rivets in CanPacs bogie. There are quite a few so the mag drill was kept busy.  The elongated holes will need welding, drilling and reaming.

The Wadebridge-tender gang had been busy with the paintbrushes, and spent the day blue-ing and scraping the white-metal bearings on their wheel-sets, preparing for the tender to be wheeled in the next few weeks.   In the never-ending game of “musical tenders”, Wadebidge’s brand-new tender chassis will become the temporary home for the new tender body that’s been built for CanPac.  That in turn will allow access to CanPacs tender chassis so it can be overhauled. In the meantime CanPacs tender body is being prepared for a temporary paint job to make it presentable at the July gala.

Dave-the-print has taken on a little project to sort out the labelling in the stores.   The nice new labels I made about five years ago have succumbed to the greasy fingers and gloves that regularly caress them, and some have become completely illegible.  Dave will use his professional skills to make some new grease-proof labels, and maybe do a bit of tidying up along the way.

Alasdair joined me to carry on fitting the lubrication pipes onto Swanage that will be inaccessible once the wheels are back on.  This has turned out to be a tricky exercise as some of the pipes needed re-bending to get them to fit.  This needed a lot of care and re-annealing to avoid cracking or creasing the pipes.  Next week promises a container-hunt to locate the bits of pipe that share the same mounting brackets, and carry oil to the plunger guides on the front of the oil bath.  These “plungers” (that’s the official name) are large hollow round shafts that slide in bushes and transmit valve motion from the valve gear inside the oil bath to the rods outside, which carry the motion forward to the valves above the cylinders.  Despite the presence of the oil bath, the plungers have to be lubricated in their bushes by pipes that come from oil trays in the cab.

Aussie John and Roy took on this weeks surprise task.  The ceiling inside one of the containers had collapsed and the chipboard and fibe-glass debris needed to be cleared away.  I didn’t get time to have a look but I can’t imagine it was a pleasant task. It goes to show that you don’t have to be a precision engineer to be useful at Ropley.

Martin’s gang of helpers have been steadily conserving 80150 - we’ll produce an update on that in the next few weeks.  He’s asked me to appeal for some help with staffing the Friends-of-80150 stand at the gala, especially on July 8th – although help on other days will be useful too.  You can contact Martin at mhr.friendsof80150@btconnect.com.   It’ll be great to see 80078 visiting at the gala – a pointer to the potential of 80150.

Under Assistant Ropley Scribe


Cake rota for the next few weeks:
7 June              Andy and Pilot-Pete
14 June            Dave-the-print and Aussie-John
21 June            Stewart & Pete(rsfield)
28 June            Dave-the Scribe & Colin-the-Under-Assistant-Scribe

Photo gallery