Saturday, 16 January 2016

Tyseley: A Saturday With Steam...

Hi all. These winter working days provide a chilly but interesting experience at Tyseley Loco Works. Naturally, the site is not open to the general public but volunteers still come in at the weekends to help with the various jobs at hand. After a frosty run along the A45, I arrived at the site of the former 84E shed at around 10am. I had, of course, had the usual stop-off for a most welcome breakfast on route, with the Tyseley Corner Café providing the necessary. This was just what the doctor ordered...
Stomach replenished, it was time to change into my overalls for a day helping around the shed. Our first task this morning was to do some shunting with the Class 08 diesel shunter. The resulting moves saw some of the extensive Tyseley collection moved outside for the first time since the open day. One locomotive that I am always impressed by is the little Peckett No1. Built in 1941 by the well known Bristol-based manufacturer, the engine is a Type W7 0-4-0 and is one of those examples of a Peckett that has been lovingly restored...
Behind the much smaller W7 stood the Great Western's answer to an all round tank engine: the 5700 Class Pannier Tank. Pannier L94 (GWR 7752) was the North British-built engine that I had the pleasure of crewing at the October 2015 open day at the works...
Shunting slumbering engines in the cold normally creates some protest. Out of steam they wait, silent and still. When the unwelcome diesel comes in and causes them disturbance, there is much wailing and groaning as their cold bulks are removed from the sanctuary of their shed. Soon enough, the shunting task was complete for the morning and a welcome hot cuppa' was enjoyed. The Tyseley Shed Cat: known to all as "Puss Puss": was glad of the company on this very cold day...
In the afternoon, whilst various jobs continued around the works, I was put on a task with Dave underneath the Castle Class 4-6-0 No7029 "Clun Castle". The 1950-built Castle was Tyseley's pioneer engine in preservation and is currently the subject of a heavy restoration launched in 2008 under the name "Castles for the Future". 7029 is a very well travelled engine and is famous for hauling the last steam service from Paddington in 1965. In the image below we can see the anatomy of a Castle. Being four cylindered, the Castle's employ divided drive with outside connecting rods driving the centre axle and inside connecting rods driving the lead axle, with the cylinders exhausting in pairs. This is a tried and tested Swindon arrangement which worked very well in practise...
After another very worthwhile and interesting day volunteering at Tyseley, I left just before 5pm. Interestingly, my recently ordered new reading material arrived today and I'm looking forward to getting stuck in to it. 'Through The Links At Tyseley' talks about a working life at the shed from the point of view of author L.C.Jacks. Local late arrival and well known lover of a Three Course Challenge 'Eddie the Late' recommended the book to me and I think its right up my street!...
I'm currently very much enjoying my volunteering at Tyseley and hope to keep it up as much as I can. I would however like to make it clear that the writing on this blog, as with all posts about other railways, in no way reflects the position or opinions of any parties mentioned, only my own. Thanks all for reading and I must thank the Tyseley lads for another good day. I write this post as the snow falls outside and the fire roars away in the grate: I'm glad not to be out there in the cold! Best Regards, Sam...

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