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News from The Narrow Gauge Railway Museum

A museum covering all aspects of the narrow gauge railways of the British Isles, and of the Talyllyn Railway in Particular.
Don Newing
Don NewingMonday, July 24th, 2017 at 1:56pm
Good news from our friends at theTownsend Hook Project.
News from The Narrow Gauge Railway Museum
News from The Narrow Gauge Railway MuseumThursday, July 20th, 2017 at 5:21pm
Jubilee 1897 has arrived at Aberystwyth.

Jubilee 1897 has arrived at the Vale of Rheidol Railway safely and is now in secure storage. We will keep you informed of future progress. Photos from Vale of Rheidol Railway.
News from The Narrow Gauge Railway Museum
News from The Narrow Gauge Railway MuseumTuesday, July 18th, 2017 at 8:02pm
Locomotive “Jubilee 1897” - Official Statement

Many of our followers will be familiar with the historic Manning Wardle steam locomotive “Jubilee 1897”, which is part of our collection. The locomotive is on long-term loan to us from Welsh Slate Ltd. (successors to the original Penrhyn Quarry owners), and has been loaned on (with the owner’s permission) to the Penrhyn Quarry Railway at Bethesda.

The Narrow Gauge Railway Museum Trust has decided with regret to remove the locomotive from its present site because it has become clear that the locomotive's future there is no longer secure. Welsh Slate Ltd. Have fully supported the Trust's action, and have expressed a preference that the locomotive remains in Wales. This means that the current plans for its restoration to working order have to be suspended for the time being.

The locomotive is currently in a partially dismantled state, to enable detailed examination prior restoration of the locomotive to working condition. The Trustees of the Narrow Gauge Railway Museum have decided that priority must given to moving the locomotive and its parts to a safe and secure storage location.

Robert Gambrill, CEO of the Vale of Rheidol Railway, has kindly offered to provide such accommodation at their Aberystwyth site. This offer is acceptable to all of the parties involved, and the locomotive and associated parts are being moved there as a matter of urgency. We thank the Vale of Rheidol Railway for their generous offer. Welsh Slate Ltd. have approved this arrangement.

Our Trustees appreciate the concerns expressed by many of the railway preservation community, and remain committed to the restoration of the locomotive to working order as a long-term objective. This will however depend on us securing the necessary funding.

Keith Theobald
Chairman of Trustees
The Narrow Gauge Railway Museum Trust.
19 July 2017
News from The Narrow Gauge Railway Museum
News from The Narrow Gauge Railway MuseumMonday, July 17th, 2017 at 1:50pm
Working Party 13 July

Summer sunshine greeted the working party regulars allowing us to tackle several outdoor jobs. Allan Black, Lisa Brian, Neal Chapman, Charles Benedetto, Barbara Tinsley, Ian Evans and John Olsen were on hand to catch the rays.

A job that has been lurking in the Museum's storeroom for sometime made it out; a sign describing the section of Abt rack rail from the Snowdon Mountain railway that greets our visitors as they come down the path into Wharf Station. To prevent the durable but lightweight plastic sign from flying off into the wilds it was securely fixed to a large slab of slate. Neal and Ian's first job was to find a suitable piece from among the many to be found at Wharf, and they discovered one slab that could have been cut to fit the sign, on two sides at least. Six holes were drilled for maximum security using plasplugs to affix the sign to the slate before covering the screwheads with the decorative beading.

Lisa got on with the last side of one of wagon 164's slats, sanding down, cleaning and then painting the final topcoat layer. Allan had to bale out the splay side wagon after some of this weeks heavy rain found its way under the covers. He then proceeded to pack the body with washers under the two new fixing holes and after a generous coating of grease to the bolts secured it all down; no more rockin' body!

Charles turned detective to locate the holes in the museum platform sign, which had been enthusiastically painted over by several pairs of hands. He was aided by his knowledge of Welsh (the sign is bilingual) and the letters he was seeking to fix down as they were all pre-drilled.

John worked on the lighting of the Baguley, which was very wayward and refused to be held in place by any form of adhesive pad! His solution was to use cable ties to attach the flexible LED light ribbon to lengths of wooden edging and then using double sided adhesive foam tape to stick the lighting ribbon in the desired positions.

Coffee was called by Barbara and we were joined by duty attendant Alan Chetwynd for a feast of biscuits. As a thank you for being able to use the Gunpowder Store as an engine shed during the Garden Railway Gala a couple of weeks back Kes and Steve had given us four packets of locally made biscuits. The chocolate covered ones acted like a magnet and drew Phil Sayers away from his duties as platform inspector to get his due. Thank you Kes and Steve they were delicious, come again next year! Barbara managed to get a few vacant slots in the attendants roster filled but we really need as many people as possible to help out; if you are coming to Tywyn and can take some slots please get in contact with Barbara before you come down.

Back out in the sunshine Allan assembled the cross ties, with more grease, and tightened them all up before trying a final assembly of the splayside wagon door on the wagon. Unfortunately now the body is firmly attached to the frame the drawbar prevents the door from sitting in the correct position so this will require a little abrasive attention to complete the job.

Lisa had been called in to help sort the shop stockroom out in the aftermath of new internal arrangements to comply with food storage legislation so she was unable to progress the final set of slats for wagon 164.

Neal and Ian set the mounted sign in position beside the Abt track section and redressed the area with stone so that our visitors can now read all about it, nicely done gents. Charles had translated his Rosetta Stone and screwed the letters in position, painting the screwheads black to complete the job; all complaints about any misspelling to be directed to him..... John cleared up the bits of sawdust and wood he had been depositing around Baguley 774 and turned the lights on. Hopefully the LED ribbon will no longer start snaking off on its own and just illuminate the Baguleys darker corners as we intended at the outset.

At the close of play we're almost finished with the splay side wagon, one more slat to topcoat on wagon 164 before reassembly, a bit of tidying up of the paint on the museum platform sign and a long overdue sign is in place.

Photos by Allan Black and Ian Evans.

Working parties continue every Thursday morning from 09.30 - newcomers welcome>
News from The Narrow Gauge Railway Museum
News from The Narrow Gauge Railway MuseumTuesday, July 11th, 2017 at 8:30pm
Working Party Report 7 July and Beyond

A warm sunny and humid morning greeted the regular museum working party so out came the paint brushes. Allan Black, Lisa Brian, Andy Sheffield and Phil Sayers were on decorating duty while David Broadbent, Charles Benedetto, Neal Chapman and John Olsen tackled some video display issues in the museum.

Having received its primer coat the splay side wagon now got its floor painted with bituminous black topcoat, Andy and Allan doing the Henry Ford on it. Lisa sanded down one of the slats of wagon 164 to remove various bits of 'stuff' that had stuck to the last layer of topcoat before applying the correct grey colour final topcoat. 'Picasso' Phil did a study in grey on concrete around William Finlay to match the existing grey in the ramp well in front of the loco as this is a neutral backdrop and much easier to keep clean than slate chippings.

It had been reported that two of the buttons, that select the programme on the video display between the Host Wagon and Rough Pup, weren't working, so David John and Charles opened up the buff box to discover if there were any loose wires. There were indeed two loose wires, problem solved! Ah, no. One of the buttons still wouldn't activate the desired programme, cue much testing with a multimeter, swapping circuit plugs and head scratching. The fault appears to be in the actual black box that reads the SD card into which the buttons are wired and there was not much we could do to fix it. However we did add another clip to hold the cable trunking in place and secure the afore-mentionned black box more firmly in place in its buff box housing.

Neal was tasked with adapting the post that held the button box for the Welsh Railways video display under the stairs as this had been identified as being wheelchair user unfriendly; they could not see the buttons because the box was set too high. The modification was to shorten the post and cut its top off at 45 degrees so that wheelchair users could easily see and operate the buttons.

Anne McCanna called coffee time out on the platform in the hot sunshine, where we were joined by duty attendant Tom Sherrat for chocolate biscuits and chat. We had to eat the chocolate biscuits really quickly before they all melted......!

With our tans topped up we returned to our tasks with Phil changing from his grey period to his cream period as he put a topcoat on the museum's platform sign that is partway through its re-fettling.

The fault finding crew moved onto assisting Neal re-erecting the modified post but only after the monitor was taken down to fix a worrying lack of fixing bolts (just two VERY loose bolts) and inadequate cable trunking fixings, i.e. white insulating tape, with cable ties and real clips. By the end of play the video display was back up, no longer in danger of falling down, and working fine.

The wagon and sign painting was done and drying in the warm sunshine, though the sign was put away in the Gunpowder Store to protect it from possible precipitation, and the splay side wagon once more covered by the giant yellow Hippobag.

Since then, two of the three new interactive displays, showing how a steam and a diesel locomotives work, have been delivered and installed in the museum.