Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Structures (1) at Marley Hill

It struck me that we have a large number of structures to maintain at Marley Hill .....

Marley Hill shed of 1854,
 the oldest working loco shed in Europe

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Work and Rest

Chris continues fabricating parts for No.2

Monday, 29 August 2011

Bank Holiday Monday Trains

Cochrane on the modern stock, Twizell with the Victorian carriages.   First train 11 am, last 4.15 pm from Andrews House; normal fares apply.
Matthew being particular with Twizell
(photo courtesy of Mark)

Edwardian Theme

This bank holiday weekend is intended to have an Edwardian theme, for staff and trains.   How close can our presentation come to the following picture?

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Trains Today

Today, Cochrane is on the light railway carriages, No.6 on the Victorain stock - two trains run each day over the bank holiday weekend.   Tomorrow, Twizell will run instead of No.6.

Cochrane moves off shed .....

Saturday, 27 August 2011

The Collection

There was a note earlier in the blog about the underlying principles of TR, which will be on public show at the forthcoming gala, including via guest locos.   The overall collection at Marley Hill can be viewed in ways which demonstrate the principles, including as mentioned previously, Tyneside built locomotives at Marley Hill.

There are many other ways of presenting our collection, for example South Shields items at Marley Hill shows a local aspect, and similarly we can take a Northumberland, Durham or Teeside view.
One erased from the South Shields collection
(except for the handbrake wheel)
There are also sections of a SSM&WCR* carriage for the South Shields collection stored outdoors - this carriage being North Sunderland Railway (NSR) No.2, and ex GER.   The whole collection includes smaller items and records, many in people's homes.   (* South Shields, Marsden and Whitburn Colliery Railway, or 'The Rattler' - an aspiration?)

Friday, 26 August 2011

From Our Foreign Correspondent

RW Hawthorn 3135 of 1915 "Invincible" on IoW,
reported as 'out of ticket' (courtesy of Neil M)

Visiting Locos for the Gala

Tanfield Railway's "Legends of Industry" gala will take place on 10 and 11 September 2011, with the photographic evening being 6pm - 10pm on Friday 9th.

Two visiting locos are being planned.   Agecroft No. 1 from Manchester's Museum of Science and Industry is likely to visit.   No. 1 is a 14" Robert Stephenson & Hawthorn 0-4-0ST works number 7416 built 1948 in Newcastle for Agecroft Power Station, where it worked until 1980.   It has been restored and returned to use earlier this year at Manchester MoSI.
One of the three standard 14" RSHs at Agecroft
(No. 2 7485/1947 is now at Ribble,
No. 3 7681/1951 at Swindon)

Thursday, 25 August 2011

TR Web Availability

The Tanfield Railway web site is available again following change of internet hosts.

Last of the Summer Midweek Trains

Cochrane is again on the light railway carriages

Young Bob oiling and cleaning between Cochrane's frames

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Today's Train

Sir Cecil A Cochrane will be running with the light railway stock
Angela blows down Cochrane, to remove sediment
from around the foundation ring

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

A Bit of Progress

Malcolm working on the last side panel for ET station

Monday, 22 August 2011

Interesting Internet Items

HM government have a system of e-petitions, under which a matter will be raised in parliament if it reaches 100k signatures.   Please consider voting for the idea of a cashless scrap metal trade.

There was an accident at the Foxfield Railway's 2010 autumn gala.   The RAIB bulletin about this accident makes informative reading.

On 3 July, there was a boiler management problem on the 3.5 mile 15" gauge Kirklees Light Railway.   The incident is  the subject of a report by the RAIB.   (I visited this railway a couple of weeks ago, found staff very friendly, steam locos single manned, and the two train operation very slick.)

Monday Work

Walter working on No.2's reversing lever pins

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Today's Train

No.6 will be hauling the Victorian rake nos. 9, 5 ,6 ,7 and 8.   There is a double tea party booked for this afternoon.
Mark about to blow down No.6

Saturday, 20 August 2011

NER Carriage Departs

Beamish's NER clerestory carriage leaves the 5 road shed
en route for Kirkby Stephen (photo courtesy of Mark)

Friday, 19 August 2011

A Numbering History

Uncovered by Eric today on the back of 18" oc 0-6-0ST RSH 7944 built 1957:
NCB Northumberland Area No.16
was NCB South Northumberland Area No. 62
was NCB Hartley Main Area No. 48 (4 under B)

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Trains Today

Matthew runs Cochrane round the Victorian stock at Sunniside

Last Time Together

..... for a while ..... NER 256 and NER 818

NER clerestory 818 is due to leave Saturday

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

End of the Shift

Phil and Alan bring the last train into Andrews House

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Tomorrow's Train

Cochrane will be heading the 1940's stock on Wednesday and Thursday.   Trains are from Andrews House at 11 am, 12.30 pm, 2 pm and 3.30 pm.   More details on the Tanfield Railway web.

It's All Go

Vic making final adjustments

Loco Maintenance

Bobby bending the new balance pipe for No.6
(which connects both sides of the saddle tank)

Monday, 15 August 2011

Some of Today's Work

In addition to maintenance on Cochrane, No.6, Twizell, AW No.2, Bob Cant's narrow gauge for the gala, etc:
Alec explaining lathe work

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Locos Today

During today's teddy bears' picnic, Cochrane will be on the modern stock, No.6 on the Victorian carriages.
George and Owen preparing the locos

Causey Crossing

The level crossing keeper today will be Martin Stewart.   In this blog on 26 July was a photo of the granddaughter of the keeper in the early 50s.   This keeper, Mrs Violet Holmes, is pictured below outside the house at the crossing.

There was an article about the crossing and its people in the "Tanfield Railway News" No. 54 for June 2000.   If anyone has any more information or photos, it would be very helpful if you could email it.

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Viewing This Blog

There are different useful / interesting ways of viewing this blog for those using browsers such as Explorer 8+, Firefox 3.5+, Chrome or Safari.
To try these, amend the URL in the address bar to one of:

However, please note that the usual is the generally recommended method of viewing this TR blog, because it usually loads faster, works with more browsers, and shows several areas which the above views omit.   The alternate views are supplied by the Google Blogger host, on a trial basis, and are not built into the TR blog.

If you think that one of these views is particularly useful, or find that one doesn't work on your browser, please email

Friday, 12 August 2011


The turntable (ex Nostell Colliery) is long enough for all our locos except the bogie electrics.  If the load is balanced, it easily turned by hand.
The 'fish van' being turned for ease of access.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Art Project at Shildon

The blog of Wednesday 27 July included a shot of Carolyn Corfield filming Cochrane's fire. We have received a note of thanks from Carolyn, together with stills from the video which will feature as part of an industrial heritage theme in the art project "Tracks Across Time" during Jan - Mar 2012 at NRM Shildon.   The work presented will feature ceramic & metal sculpture, paintings, paper constructs, film and photography.
Fire in Cochrane

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Baker's Bank Head

About 50 years ago, banksman Will Harrison on duty.
I recommend looking around the Whickham Web Wanderers site for further information.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011


Many important regular jobs go unnoticed - for example, the carriages are often cleaned on Tuesdays.

Angela cleaning the modern stock for use this
Wednesday and Thursday (with loco Cochrane).

Monday, 8 August 2011

Tidying Up

The 'Legends of Industry' Gala on 10 & 11 September (see main TR web for details and on line booking) is encouraging people to clean exhibits and tidy up parts of the site which otherwise would be missed.   Hardly exciting, but essential work.
Tom, Mark and Stuart ponder on where everything goes .....

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Today's Train

Today's train will be Twizell with the Victorian carriages 5 to 9.   First train from Andrews House station at 11 am, last at 4 pm.
Featuring Phil the fireman .....

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Multi Talented Staff

Peter on the fiddle at John's shindig tonight

Friday, 5 August 2011

Underlying Principles of TR

For information, the Company and Trust boards have jointly agreed that there are three underlying principles to which we are working, and how we wish to present ourselves:
1. show what would have been seen in the period 1920-1950 (this would be predominantly steam).
2. focus on industrial and minor railways.
3. a North East of England focus with items used or built in NE.

This doesn't mean that everything must fit all of these three - but new items to be acquired will be more closely scrutinised.   For example, the Trust passed on the loan of the 1968-built Barclay diesel 'FGF', which used to work in Cumbria, to the SRPS at Falkirk - it is a much better fit with their collections policy - and we still have their Black Hawthorn 'City of Aberdeen' on loan.   Nor do the principles only apply to rolling stock in the collection - for example, we have a policy of not wearing high visibility vests, and we would encourage everyone to wear period clothing.   Also, our buildings are typical of local industrial or minor railways up to the early 1900s - new buildings will have a period look, use suitable materials, and have an appropriate roof pitch.

If you have any comments, please talk with any of the directors, or email your comments to be forwarded.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Puzzle Corner Solved

Someone has come forward with the solution for puzzle no. 2 at the bottom of this blog.   If you would like to find the solution yourself, follow the Railway link on  this web site  (which also shows some education ideas).

Interestingly, there is a photo with a locally distinctive type of loco passing under the bridge, showing its distinctive wing walls.

I would strongly recommend a day's walk in this area if you haven't already done so - but be prepared for ups and downs.   There is a colliery village, a village by an old metalworks, a pleasant colliery hamlet, the remains of two industrial railway routes, wildlife including red kites, viewing spots, woodland walks, riverside, lots of old industrial sites, and a nearby ex-BR branch line.   Free year-round access and car park.   You may also stumble across a modern connection to Tanfield Railway.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

No. 2's Boiler

Progress on the boiler repairs for No. 2 (HL 2859) can be seen on the Severn Valley Railway engineering web site.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Mid Week Running

Another reminder that steam trains run on TR every Wednesday and Thursday (as well as Sunday) until the end of August.   First train from Andrews House will be at 11 am, last at 3.30 pm.   Visitors and volunteers will be welcome.  The train will be Cochrane and the 1940s stock.

Monday, 1 August 2011

A typical Monday morning

This morning saw Peter, Phil and Alex working on finishing touches to the motion of No.2,
Malcolm and Walter adjusting brakes on No.6, Phil sorting a leaking boiler plug on Twizell.
Jim spent some time making a set of pullers for a top secret job! Chris set to plasma cutting plate for No.2's ash pan.
John and myself sorted out a cut off saw in the woodwork shop ready for framing duties on Tuesday.

East Tanfield Station Building

The main side panels for the station building at East Tanfield are being constructed now in the woodwork shed, for erection later on site.
Steve nailing a sheet of OSB3 to a panel frame