running The Bath & West Steam Railway
Articles and photo galleries from various members.
Before we left Devon, Mike used a batch of the steel remaining from his blacksmithing days to make up a 5” gauge portable track. It comes to a total of 150ft in approx. in 5ft lengths. We decided not to mount the sections on boards because of the weight, but instead made blocks to support each joint, where the lengths are bolted together. In addition he made buffers which are mounted at each end.
The track was put into storage on our son’s farm when we arrived in Wiltshire 4 years ago, but finally came into use in June this year. Our son Thomas is a key member of the Gillingham Imperial Silver Band, and when planning this year’s visit of GISB’s twin band from Germany he asked if we could run the track during their evening barbecue. The Village Hall where Thomas and his family live has a large car park with a suitable level length available, so the event was agreed (weather permitting). Since using a steam loco on such a track presents various problems, not least the necessity to fit a spark arrester for insurance purposes, we decided to invest in a “diesel” electric loco. Abbots Model Engineering offered a suitable engine – Neptune 4 – which was duly delivered (at 8 a.m. on a Saturday, from Telford !) a week before the planned first running.
My Driver Experience day with ESSMEE at the Bath and West Showground Miniature Railway.
In May of this year, my wife and I visited the Royal Bath and West Show at Shepton Mallet, something we had been meaning to do for a long time! The show was fantastic, with a wonderful family atmosphere, and having both been brought up in the country, we felt right at home!
We went through all the exhibitors and eventually ended up at my favourite, the East Somerset Society of Model and Experimental Engineers permanent passenger carrying track.
My Stafford, ‘Ifor’ was first steamed on Wednesday 31 July when it passed hydraulic & steam tests OK; I only managed a couple of circuits round the club house before loosing fire and steam etc. and packing up.
On Saturday ‘Ifor' was steamed again much more successfully and several circuits of the clubhouse were made by David Hale, Roger H-C and me. I am very pleased with the result as he runs very nicely when one gets the fire and pressure better organised! The injectors are a bit tricky to get working, but no doubt this is a matter of practice with these particular ones. Steam blew back into the lubricator which made an oily, watery mess.
Not so much an article as a big scary picture (well, scary for the mechanical boys)
It is several years since the upper yard was completed at the Bath and West Railway by those members most interested in 5" ground level, and shortly afterwards a second (lower) yard was added. From the start, access to the main line involved a rather complicated process, the Yardmaster first having to call up the signal box requesting permission to allow a train onto the main line.
7¼" gauge Warship class locomotive D808 “Centaur”.
After a gap of 25 years I returned to model making and was surprised to find that electric passenger hauling locos were now relatively common. And much quicker to complete than a steamer built from castings and pieces of bar and plate! So I built a 5" Gauge class 20 electrically powered loco from a Maxitrack kit. I very much enjoyed the building and it ran well. But I was interested to move up to 7¼" gauge and a good strong passenger hauler.