In the first of a series of monthly blog posts detailing what’s going on here at the DFR, we outline the news from the last two months…
What’s been going at the DFR in January and February?
Painting tent erected
During the last couple of months, a large tent has been erected at Norchard for use as an undercover painting area.
January and the new tent saw the turn of two of our resident Class 108 units, which are now in shiny new coat of BR Green. The end of January saw brake coach W9003 enter the shop once the DMU’s had left, and this is still in progress, being repainted from faded Maroon into Chocolate & Cream, as well as an existing ride height issue being sorted. Class 14 D9521 is undergoing treatment too.
More on this next month, and hopefully pictures too.
St.Mary’s Bypass Crossing Automated
January 2016 marked the end of any passenger service stopping at St. Mary’s halt. The stop was only in the ‘up’ direction, when trains had to stop for the guard to activate the bypass crossing barriers.
In the new year a new automated system was put in by S&T, ceasing this practice. This is a good start in the removal of the now defunct St. Mary’s halt, of which the parts will be used for an alternative uses.
Diesel Rail Crane outshopped
After a thorough restoration process, the Diesel Rail Crane is now back out of the shed and looking great!
Restored by ‘The Saturday Gang’, the crane has a long ‘to do’ list, and is now another important asset to the railway. Well done all involved.
First running days of the 2016 season
The first running days of the 2016 season (excluding New Years day) were run earlier this month. The Forest Flyers consisted of a 3-car Class 108 provided by the DMU group travelling just half the line, marking the start of our 2016 season.
All three days were well received.
5541’s winter maintenance
Quoted from the 5541 Facebook page:
“5541 has been receiving her annual winter maintenance over the last few weeks. One of the major on-going jobs is the removal and re-machining of the regulator box.
The loco received a new regulator valve in 2015 to eradicate a blow by of steam through the valve from the boiler, and to make the engine more manageable. The new valve helped, but did not stop the blow by.
The next step was to remove the regulator box this winter, and send it away for the valve face to be machined…. This is not something we are able to do on site at Norchard.
When the regulator box is returned and the valve re-lapped, 5541 should have a leak free front end ready for the 2016 passenger service on the Dean Forest Railway.”
Parkend Point Replacement
The Parkend point replacement is going well, as you can see from the picture below. No date for ‘inserting’ it into the running line is set just yet, but it is progressing nicely, good job lads.
Railcar of the year 2016!
And lastly congratulations to our DMU group for winning Railcar of the Year 2016 with Class 108 DMBS unit E50619! The unit was up with many other great contenders but came home with the win in the end.
To add to this we are hosting the National Railcar Convention later on in 2016. Keep an eye out for details!
And that sums up the news from the past two months. Thanks for reading, and join us later in March for more updates from our railway!