Covid-19 Update – July 2020

UPDATE JULY 2020 – the Worth Valley are now preparing to restart passenger services but this will take some time as they have to complete the major bridge replacement project which split the line south of Ingrow and had to be abandoned in March. When services resume, it may well be that compartment carriages have to be used to satisfy social distancing, so our carriages may well be in demand.
At East Lancashire Railway, there is interest in carrying out work on our locos 752 and 19 to provide paid work for their permanent staff, the trustees are in negotiation for this as this may enable restoration to take place earlier than otherwise expected, especially as our funds have not been much affected by the lockdown – unlike most other railway organisations.

UPDATE JUNE 2020 – as many will be aware, restrictions surrounding the outbreak of Covid-19 has caused many railways to close to protect the public, staff and volunteers.
As a result, both the Worth Valley Railway and the East Lancashire Railway have taken the decision to close for the forseeable future. This means that none of our stock is in use or on display, the carriages and Pug 51218 at the Worth Valley Railway and 752 and 19 at the East Lancashire Railway.

Our six-wheelers and the Club Carriage were expected to be in use on the Worth Valley’s six Vintage Train Sundays 7th to 21st June and 5th to 19th July.
These trains have now been cancelled as well as all other events up to November 2020. As and when trains can be operated our website will be updated, you can also refer to the Worth Valley website.

752 (currently as 51456) – most events on the East Lancashire Railway have been cancelled, however it is expected that if the opportunity arises to run short trains, that 752/51456 is likely to be used. Again our website will be updated as necessary, you can also refer to the East Lancs website.

Brake 1474 – work on suspension

Bogie Brake 1474 has been the subject of investigation and repairs to the bogie springing during 2019. This has prevented its use in service trains but the Worth Valley agreed that it could be used for a filming contract (see news item Filming for NETFLIX) along with our 6-wheelers. The main issue is that 1474 rolls quite a bit when in use, probably indicating that there is weakness in the suspension almost certainly due to its age.

The bogie suspension consists of primary and secondary (or auxiliary) components. The primary suspension comprises large coil springs located in the central bolster, the secondary being the leaf springs located over each axlebox together with a pair of auxiliary coil springs located at the outer end of each leaf spring.
Much of the investigation work has taken place with the active co-operation of the Worth Valley’s Director of Engineering, the Worth Valley having responsibility for the safety of the carriages when in use.

January 2020 it’s been established that the auxiliary coil springs in the secondary suspension have insufficient strength so 16 replacements are now on order thanks to a very good response to a fundraising request, and there is also sufficient funding to cover replacement of the 16 securing tie bars and fittings. Copies of the original L&YR general arrangement drawings of the bogies were obtained in 2019 via the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Society and it’s been found that the full specification for the replacement springs was detailed on the drawings. The material used over 100 years ago is now hard to obtain, so an alternative design has been established and approved by the Worth Valley’s Director of Engineering.

March 2020 saw some springs removed for testing and temporarily replaced with steel tube. Examples of the auxiliary coil and leaf springs can be seen below along with an example of the securing tie bolts. Just before the Coronavirus lockdown, new coil spring manufacture was completed and some fitted, then work had to stop. However it was possible capture some photos as below.

June 2020 has seen the resumption of work and the arrival of newly manufactured securing tie bolts and their associated fittings, see some photos below. The carriage has been relocated to the Worth Valley’s carriage and wagon workshop for final assembly to take place and for a detailed examination of the carriage involving lifting the body from the chassis, which might not have taken place for over 80 years.

The photos below are supplied by the Trust’s team of of Jim Hindle, David and Daniel Winters as well as Trustee Peter Eastham.
Click on any image to view large version and as a slideshow

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Carriages in NETFLIX series

The 6-part series called ‘The English Game’ was released on March 20th and can be viewed on the NETFLIX TV channel.

Our six-wheel carriages 279 and 1507 together with the Bogie Brake 1474 were used under a contract with NETFLIX.
The series covers events that led to the introduction of professional players into English football in the Victorian era.

Our carriages were used with Coal Tank 1054 during May and July 2019, much of the filming being in Keighley station which was renamed Darwen for the purpose. Although Brake 1474 was not available for public service at the time, the Worth Valley had approved it for use in the filming, for which the brake compartment was modified by the fitting of wooden benches for a team to sit.

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March Steam Galas

The Worth Valley and East Lancashire railways held Steam Gala weekend events on 6th to 8th March, both of which were a success.

The Worth Valley Gala used only our Club Carriage 47 in one of the service trains – for operational reasons our 6-wheelers could not be used.
The East Lancashire Gala featured our loco 752 in the guise of 51456 on its first public service trains. Our Pug 19 has been temporarily relocated from the Ribble Steam Railway at Preston and was on static display in the guise of 51241.

Videos of the Galas can be found on our Video online web page, most of them from YouTube
Photos can be found on or Photos -stock in use web page, most of them from Flickr

Worth Valley Spring Gala 2020 – late news

The Worth Valley has confirmed that the Trusts coaches will be used as part of the vintage train service at the railway’s Spring Steam Gala (06/03/20 – 08/03/20). More details to follow closer to the date.

LATE NEWS – as of 18th February 2020 the Worth Valley have advised that operational issues connected with major engineering works will mean that only our Club Carriage 47 will be in use, but that will be for the full 3 days on a main service train.

The Worth Valley’s website now has a page dedicated to the Gala, this can be viewed here

1474 Updates

Thanks to the excellent response of our members to the appeal for 1474, we have been able to take delivery of 16 new suspension springs for the coach. These have since been painted and work has started to fit a number of springs to the vehicle.

752 Passes Steam Test

Locomotive No.752 passed its final boiler inspection this afternoon (16/12/19). Having been signed off the locomotive was coupled to a rake of coaches for a brakes test. Work to weigh the locomotive will proceed prior to running in on the East Lancashire Railway.