Mind the gap!

Submitted by andrew.sdr on

The embankment on High Moor has collapsed due to a sink hole and will now have to be rebuilt. The station at Horseshoe Cove is also temporarily closed due to engineering works on the roof.

Dot’s rebuild

Submitted by andrew.sdr on

SdR built battery electric mining loco  “Dot” is back in Low End Works for a major rebuild. 

  • Extended frames 
  • Longer cab, open at the battery-box end
  • Extra weight added to mid section of frames to improve adhesion

Steam Tram progress

Submitted by andrew.sdr on

Low End Works are making progress with the new-build steam tram engine, which is based on a Kitson tram chassis/boiler/engine supplied by Mamod Ltd.

The current works are:

New siding at Gulch mine

Submitted by andrew.sdr on

An additional siding has been laid at the SADMC Gulch copper mine. This is to enable a locomotive to be stabled at the mine and also the siding is used to assist with running round at High Topps station without running the loco into the copper ore loading bay. This project involved:

Coach 206 improved lighting

Submitted by andrew.sdr on

Coach No.206 was taken into Low End Works to have a new and larger battery box fitted.

The higher capacity now allows 2 x AA  non-rechargeable batteries to be replaced with 3 x AA rechargeable batteries, which provides a much brighter level of lighting inside the carriage.

New frames for Titty

Submitted by andrew.sdr on

The new frames, wheels, cylinders, pistons and motion (i.e. Janet chassis) arrived from RWM Steam and the existing Bix gas burner was installed between the frames.

Also a new displacement lubricator with steam pipe was supplied from RWM Steam.

New cab for Titty

Submitted by andrew.sdr on

A new taller and wider cab has been made for No1 A B Titty. It has been decided to paint this loco in Capri Blue instead of the Oxford Blue livery that was applied to Nos 2-4.

No1: Completed saddle tank

Submitted by andrew.sdr on

The conversion of engine No1 A B Titty from a side tank to a saddle tank has been competed.

The next part of the rebuilding programme for this locomotive will be the fabrication of a new full-height/width cab followed by making of a new copper chimney with brass cap.

No1: Saddle tank

Submitted by andrew.sdr on

No1 A B Titty is being converted from being a side-tank locomotive to a saddle tank.

This will hopefully help to retain heat from the fire and improve thermal efficiency when compared to the original side tank design.

Titty to have new chimney

Submitted by andrew.sdr on

Engine No1 currently being rebuilt in Low End Works shall have a new taller chimney. Suitable material has been sourced from scrap 1/2 inch copper pipe left over from the domestic central heating installation back in 1992.

Raising the cab floor

Submitted by andrew.sdr on

The rebuilding of loco No1. will involve raising the cab floor. To enable this a new frame extension has been fabricated from mild steel. (Material sourced from the mounting stand of a scrapped Dell Dimension computer monitor).

No.1 Dismantled

Submitted by andrew.sdr on

Loco No.1 AB TITTY had now been completely stripped down to her frames, but with wheels, motion and cylinders left in place.

This work is in preparation for the rebuilding programme which will involve a new boiler and redesigned footplate, running plate and cab.

Hailstorm at Beckfoot!

Submitted by andrew.sdr on

Miserable May weather produced a freak hailstorm at Beckfoot on Wednesday 5 May 2021.

The service operated as normal but both mining locos Nos 5 and 6 were employed to bank the 15:00 ex-Beckfoot passenger train up the 1 in 14 of Greenbanks bank.

Brexit hits a new Low!

Submitted by andrew.sdr on

Production at Low End Works is now held up due to Brexit border delays!

Loco No.6 is nearing completion but cannot be released to traffic until a proper power control handle has been installed on the driver's control panel.

Electrical work

Submitted by andrew.sdr on

Work on assembling the power control circuits for new battery loco No.6 has commenced.

Electrical components were supplied by Essel Engineering Ltd along with a very good wiring diagram. The components are:

No.6: Frame and Footplate

Submitted by andrew.sdr on

The loco frame was drilled with 3mm bit to create mounting holes for the footplate brackets. These will be screwed to the frame with 6BA brass bolts and the holes in the brackets may need to be oversized to allow clearance.

Discarded patterns

Submitted by andrew.sdr on

Progress on new loco No.6. An iterative process of design development has been undertaken to produce a satisfactory design for the cab.

The experimental discarded patterns in card can be seen in the photos.

Snow service resumes!

Submitted by andrew.sdr on

Problems with running in snowy conditions have been solved by using No.3 Mate Susan in place of the booked duty loco No.4 Capt John.

Susan is externally fired and so her wheels get hotter than John's! This greatly assists adhesion on icy rails.

Snow at Beckfoot

Submitted by andrew.sdr on

The so-called Beast from the Baltic has arrived and the SdR route is already under a modest layer of fresh snow. But more appears to be on the way.

Battery Loco rebuild

Submitted by andrew.sdr on

SADMC battery mining loco No.5 JACKY is now in the workshops at Low End for another rebuilding project. This time it has been decided to remove the cooling fan motor from the control cubicle as it is not really needed and uses a lot of battery power.

Roger under the drill

Submitted by andrew.sdr on

No.2 Boy Roger continues to undergo major rebuilding in Low End Works. Recent work included making and fitting cab access steps.

These required holes to be drilled in the cab floor to take the fixings.

Progress on the new cab

Submitted by andrew.sdr on

Progress is being made on the new cab for Roger.

It was found that the doorways would need to be extended right up to roof level in order that a 16mm scale driver would be able to get in and out without bashing his bonce.

Making a new cab

Submitted by andrew.sdr on

Cardboard patterns for a new cab for Roger have been made and finalised. Then the finished pattern was then flattened out and placed onto a sheet of steel, marked round in ink lining pen, and then the steel was cut to shape.

Sunday test train

Submitted by andrew.sdr on

The Sunday service train on 22nd November was operated by loco No.2 Boy Roger as an experiment to see whether the little Mamods are capable of hauling the new and heavy Mk2 steel coaches. The service was run as a single coach train using coach 206.

Leaves on the Line!

Submitted by andrew.sdr on

It's that time of year again when autumn leaves cause a hazard to trains on the Swallowdale Railway. A clean sweep has to be made manually before the services can run, and drivers have to remain vigilant....!