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The Springfield Agricultural Railway
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Updates and News 2014

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Summer/Winter 2014 Update:  

The second half of 2014 saw many developments on the railway.

 

Date: July 2014

Date: July 2014

Date: August 2014

The original fuel tank and engine cover from MR8565 has been in need of pataching up/repair, but fortunately a spare 40s tank and cover was obtained. Although MR8565 was a 20/28hp Simplex, it had run in later life with a 40s radiator and a 40s fuel tank and cover, so this build will be retained.

Once the tank had been cleaned up and an initial coat of primer added, the supporting framework was added to the loco to temporarily bolt the tank in place and ensure it was a good fit.

The front plate on the open cab had been too far corroded to rescue, so after a trip to the local scrap yard, a few sheets of useful steel plate were obtained and a replacement sheet marked out and angle grinder used to cut the plate to size including the clearance cutouts.

 
 

Date: August 2014

Date: August 2014

Date: August 2014

After offering up the steel plate to the front of the cab, it allowed more exact marking out to follow the curved contours across the top.

Moes No.10 on a trip out to the muck heap to dig out more manure.

It was July/August when the second of the wooden side tipping wagons finally got an overhaul, so after the chassis was separated from the body the whole frame was cleaned down and repainted, and the body was refurbished.

 

Date: August 2014

Date: September 2014

Date: September 2014

With the 2 parts of the wagon reunited, it was put back into use once again. Although these 2 wagons had been built just to carry manure, that wonderful thing called hindsight could have ensured that they were built from 2 inch timber rather than 1 inch, and been a little more robust!

The Hudson skip obtained earlier in the year finally had its turn in the workshops. Overall it was in very good condition except for many layers of flaking paintwork added over the years. Chipping this off back to the metalwork proved very time consuming.

To get at the underneath of the chassis, it was upended with the help of the 'A' frame and the wheels/axleboxes removed.

 
 

Date: September 2014

Date: September 2014

Date: September 2014

By the time the frames received the first coat of Hammerite they were looking in better condition.

By the end of September it was all completed. It seems a shame to get it dirty!!

Late summer always sees the annual service for the W&R battery loco. The battery box is removed to get at the worm boxes and everywhere gets a top up of oil and grease.

 

Date: September 2014

Date: September 2014

Date: september 2014

Throughout the year manure was dug out to keep pace with new supplies coming in from the ever obliging horses.

After a lot of spadework, the bottom of the muck heap was reached.

Once the wagons were back by the stables the manure was bagged up and taken away for delivery.

 

Date: September 2014

Date: September 2014

Date: September 2014

In September a new addition arrived. A German manufactured Diema DS12 4wDM diesel.

The Hiab unloaded the loco directly onto the tracks in the driveway.

Having seen so many of these locos working in industry and with many still at work in the peat industry in Germany, it was a special opportunity to obtain one of these at Springfield. The loco has not been run for many years, but it is hoped that it has no major mechanical problems to overcome.

 

Date: September 2014

Date: September 2014

Date: September 2014

Diema No.1553 is rated at 14 horsepower according to the plate, but is believed to be a DS12 according to the Diema workslist by Jens Merte.

The loco is very unusual due to retaining the original single cylinder Diema engine. most of these locos now have Deutz engines in them.

With the new loco shed now built, a bit of a shunt around allowed Jane the Motor Rail to be moved into the garage workshop to continue restoration.

 

Date: September 2014

Date: October 2014

Date: October 2014

Still by this time the loco had no brake gear, no drive chains, floor plates, or seat, so work continued on a number of fronts.

The pins which had held the hangers for the brakes were too corroded to put back, so a number of replacements were machined.

What had been left of the floor plate was just balanced on top of the main frames, so a set of pins were machined and threaded, to screw into the inside of the frame and hold the floor plate when completed.

 

Date: October 2014

Date: November 2014

Date: November 2014

The steel plate for the front of the cab had been fully trimmed to size and primed. Seen here with the original.

By November it had it second coat of undercoat and was ready for sanding down for the top coat.

By the end of November all the framework had 2 coats of primer and 2 coats of undercoat, and other work including stripping down of the fuel filter and cleaning the fuel pumps, had been completed.

 

Date: November 2014

Date: December 2014

Also by this date the drive chains had been cut to length and attached, with the final pins being pushed home and secured by split pins.

A piece of metal plate had been cut to size with steel angle riveted to the ends and also spot welded down the centre for reinforcement.


 
Winter/Spring 2014 Update:  

Compared to the last couple of winters, this last one had proved to be exeptionally mild, with no snow to speak of and so there had been little disruption on the railway due to poor weather.

 

Date: January 2014

Date: January 2014

Date: February 2014

A prop shaft connector and a rubber doughnut were obtained which then formed the basis of the flexible connector for the Spoorizjer.

After a lot of measuring and head scratching, these were finally built up into a connector ready to fit to the gearbox shaft and the engine.

By February it was all connected up and after quite a few attempts the loco successfully fired up.

 
 

Date: January 2014

Date: February 2014

Date: March 2014

A mild winter allowed the emptying of the skips to be carried out mostly uninterrupted, without snow or ice causing problems.

On another occasion at the muck heap, 3 skips of composted manure has been dug out, ready for the trip back with the Wingrove and Rogers loco.

With spring creeping up a lot of general maintanance was required in the garden and fields with the railway used to haul the rubbish to the fire for burning.

 

Date: March 2014

Date: March 2014

Date: March 2014

With the loco completed at the end of February, the Spoorijzer was given a few trial runs in March.

Although it proved easy to stall the loco when stopping to change direction, it was the fault of the driver rather than the gearbox! The brakes need tightening up a little but other than that it appears to be a reliable and useful addition to the locos at Springfield.

3 Skips were filled from the muck heap, for spreading back on the fields and the little Spoorijzer coped with the slight gradient and slippy rails out of the field.

 
 

Date: April 2014

Date: May 2014

Date: May 2014

In April we were very fortunate to find a complete Hudson skip in very good condition and on the 13th April, it was brought back to Springfield in the trusty plant trailer.

2014 was the first year that the compost was offered for home delivery in the village, and the railway was used to move the manure in plastic sacks so they could be loaded in the driveway into the back of the jeep.

Another project was the building of a small loco shed on a new siding, and the timber to build this was delivered and moved by flat wagons.

 

Date: May 2014

Date: May 2014

Date: May 2014

A small garden shed and lean-to was in the way of a projected siding as can be seen here, with the point components laid ontop of the existing trackwork to assess exactly where they needed laying.

Once the alignment of the new rails had been decided on, 2 rails were taken out to make room for the point. As usual nothing is ever straight forward and both ends of the tracks required bending to fit with the new point and shorth pieces of rails were inserted to fill the gaps.

After the sleepers were repositioned and additional sleepers dug in, the point was finally spiked down and the next stage to lay the short siding was started.

 

Date: May 2014

Date: May 2014

Date: June 2014

Once the siding was all in place the surrounding turf was replaced and the trackwork started to blend in with its surroundings again.

The new shed starts to take shape.

With the roof and the front door still required the building is finally starting to resemble a shed.

 

Date: March 2014

Date: June 2014

Date: June 2014

As there always seems to be a shortage of flat wagon for various loads to be moved, another skip chassis was selected for a face lift and rebuild.

wheels and axleboxes were removed and the whole frame was de-rusted. Rust converter/inhibitor was then brushed on prior to giving it a couple of coats of hammerite. angle iron was also bolted on at either end.

Rubber strip was placed between the chassis and timber framework, and then the timbers were screwed down on top, giving another decent wagon to use on the railway.

 

 
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Steve Thomason 2014

Introduction | Construction | Operation | Locos | Updates | Contact
Industrial Narrow Gauge Railways