Embsay and Bolton Abbey Steam Railway

Archived News


Happy Christmas & New Year 24/12/09

Wishing all our supporters a ver Happy Christmas and New Year. More news updates are on their way early in the New Year.

Bolton Abbey in the snow, viewed from the West end.. (c) Tim Warner The station, and the Priory inthe background. (c) Tim Warner Bolton Abbey station's setting. (c) Tim Warner Bolton Abbey station in the snow. (c) Tim Warner

All sorts of things 26/10/09

Firstly, apologies for the delay in updating the news page this year - things have been very busy, but more regular updates should now be manageable!

The Permanent Way department completed an NVQ level 2 course some months ago, but Saturday 24th Ocotber saw the presentation of their certificates involving various dignitaries. Are we the first preserved Railway to gain such qualifications? This was a fantastic achievement, and congratulations go to all those involved.

37 294 approaching Bolton Abbey. (c) Matthew Fisher The Diesel Gala in July was very successful, although the star guest, 37 294 did suffer some fuel problems. Some photos from Matthew Fisher are available HERE.
Evacuees from Malsis School. (c) Malsis School The 1940s weekend was again a fantastic event with a lot of very dedicated re-enacters who were able to demonstrate many facets of life to the visiting public, including the boarders from nearby Malsis School who had all dressed up for the occasion as evacuees.
The Steam Gala, despite running like clockwork, was less successful and calls into question the future of such events. This was not helped by a lack of available steam engines. The Standard 2, however, behaved beautifully, and really suited the line. It looked particularly at home hauling the goods train which was the longest we have had in preservation and was a real credit to those who put so much time and effort into the wagons' restoration.


  • Monckton has now been withdrawn early for overhaul. When this loco was returned to service it was doubtful whether the firebox would last the full ten years, and this has been proven. Attempts were made to repair cracks which appeared, but more cracks then appeared. A new firebox will be required.
  • Darfield will be staying on the line for another six months. She has performed very well, and is now undergoing some work which centres on new brasses for the coupling rods as well as attending to the big ends. She will be back in service for the Santa Trains.
  • Thomas has bee in service recently following replacement of rivets around the firehole door and other work. Steaming has long been a problem for this loco, but this has been improved owing to a slightly different technique.
  • 56XX For the Santa specials this year, 5643 will be visiting. This Great Western 0-6-2, owned by the Furness Railway Trust is currently based on the Llangollen Railway. It will be visiting until January. Also owned by the Furness Railway Trust is Austerity Cumbria, which will be coming to Embsay in the New Year.
  • Work on Beatrice continues steadily. The boiler is now back in the frames, the cladding is back on, the regulator has been put back in, painting is in full flight now, with the tank brought back to the shed so that it too can be tackled.
    Harry's boiler, viewed from the front. (c) Tim Warner
  • The new tubeplate for No.8 has been completed and the boiler (which came from Harry) is being readied to receive it.
  • Primrose also sees work continuing - the frames have been cleaned up and painted, and some of the pipework has also been tackled. Problems with the chassis have been identified and will need rectifying before much more work can be carried out.
  • Illingworth is coming together well at the moment - a new cab is under construction, the chassis has been re-wheeled (again), and the motion is being put in for the first time. One of the cast brackets had been broken at some point in the engine's past, and replaced with a fabricated effort, which is not properly aligned. A new cast bracket is being manufactured at the moment. It would appear that the engine has been on its side at some point... There still remains a little boilerwork before this too is complete.
  • No.22 is coming together again and looking good. A new section of running board has been made, the wheels and frames repainted, having been stripped right back to bare metal. Repairs and new parts have been made and fitted, to take the play out of various bits and pieces. A new piston rod will be required too following the discovery that one of them is bent. The new inner firebox has arrived and now awaits fitting.
  • Very little to report on Annie as much effort has gone in to other locos recently. The new horns and axleboxes are coming along inbetwee other jobs.

    No.38 approaching Bolton Abbey. (c) Matthew Fisher

  • No.38 (the Class 14) won many fans over the Diesel Gala, despite the presence of a Class 37... It successfully hauled a 5-coach train the full length of the line, and the cooling system seems to be spot on now. However, it has managed to 'eat' its starter motor, so a replacement is being sought, as well as thought being given to a possible repair. As these components are unique to this class...
  • 36 is on light duties at Embsay for running in purposes, having made a successful debut at the Diesel Gala. It will be heading back into the shed shortly for completion of the works carried out so far.
  • One casualty of the Diesel Gala was 08 773 which slipped a crank during operations. Plans are well advanced for the rectification of this damage, but space at Embsay is at a premium, so it will have to wait a little longer.
  • Ruston 887 is in the workshops being repainted.
    H.W.Robinson, mid-way through being stripped down. (c) Tim Warner
  • Fowler H.W.Robinson is now stripped down to the very basic components and is awaiting decisions on each of the components removed before the rebuild can progress much further. Most of its gearbox problems stemmed from a collapsed bearing. It is likely that the spare set of wheels will be substituted as their tyres are in much better condition.
  • Another Wickham Trolley has arrived on site (details shortly) for restoration. It is of a later design and will be used by Permanent Way and Signal and Telegraph departments once completed.
  • Meaford has had works completed to return it to traffic, which should have taken place yesterday.

    The P-Way gang have been tackling drainage issues at Holywell Halt and heading towards Stoneacre. At the end of February and beginning of March, the Raiwlay will be closed to allow replacement of track components at this location as well as the regrading of the ballast to allow better run off of the water. This section of trackbed has suffered ever since themain A59 roadbridge was modified and the trackbed had to be lowered.

    The ex-Guiseley box undergoing repainting. (c) Tim Warner The East end of ex-SSE signalbox, temporarily re-clad. (c) Tim Warner The S&Tea department have been busy on various projects over the Summer, all of which have been hit by various operational and domestic demands, but have seen progress. The bracket signal for Embsay requires craning work to install the straining post (and the bracket itself). The footings for the straining post are complete. The new groundframe for Bolton Abbey has recently had the remaining rodding run completed so changeover sould be able to folow shortly. The 'new' part will then be attended to. The signalboxes at Bolton Abbey have seen plenty of attention (weather depending), with the ex-Guiseley box turning yellower and redder the we have been accustomed to recently. The repaint has not progressed as quickly as I would have liked, but is getting there, and it does look much smarter now. The Sleights Sidings East signalbox has had the East end wall rebuilt to match Bolton Abbey's original, with the locking room door at that end and a small central window. It is now ready for recladding, and the wood is all to hand. The last couple of weeks have seen focus shift to the wiring with conduit being shaped to fit. It is now awaiting our electrician. At Embsay, the new backboard for under the signalbox has been laid out, and will require wiring shortly. This is to enable the new top yard arrangements to be accommodated easily, and a grand swap-over will hopefully take palce early in the new year. A new location cabinet for the track circuit feed units has been put together too.

    Tom's van showing the repaired ends and new wooden side. (c) Tim Warner Carriage and Wagon have been Working on repaints and bogie overhauls, with various wheelsets and frames being swapped about. A lot of vacuum cylinders have been rebuilt, with more planned. One of the Irish coaches is currently up in the air, revealing that much more work is required to get them running as there is considerable corrosion to the underframe in a couple of locations. A lot of time went into preparing the engineers' wagons for the Steam Gala, but the results look great! Tom continues to work hard rebuilding his boxvan, with new wooden planking now going onto the restored metal frame.

    The conflat. (c) Tim Warner A couple of vehicles have arrived on the Railway, with more to follow in the coming months. First up is a 13T conflat wagon, owner by our C&W manager, which has already been repainted, although it does need replacement oleo buffers before it can run. It is B503045 of 1958 and was built by the Pressed Steel Co. Ltd. as part of lot no. 3153. (According to its worksplate!) The next item is the trailer coach for the NER Petrol Electric which arrived from the NYMR recently. It is sheeted over and restoration will take palce with the Autocar itself. Finally (for the moment) is Pullman 'Balmoral' which Stephen Middleton rescued from Brighton Pullman Works. It has so far taken him eleven years - progress should be much swifter now! The carriage has been reunited with original bogies, and made its first move on its own wheels in nearly 100 years in getting to Embsay! Already the headstocks have been replaced and the interior tidied in order to see what IS there! Framework repairs are due to start in the coming weeks. Stephen already owns much of the original interior...

    Balmoral - the GOOD side... (c) Tim Warner Close up of the original paintwork on the lower panels. (c) Tim Warner The 'Sleeping' designation on the top. (c) Tim Warner Balmoral arriving back at Embsay - its first move in a train on original bogies! (c) Tim Warner

    Diesels, NER Petrol Electric and Beer 30/05/09

    An odd mix, maybe, but there is a link!

    DIESEL GALA: Full details are now on the website, including the Saturday evening BBQ and BEEREX trains. Day Rover tickets are priced at £15 for adults and £7.50 for children. BOOK NOW for the BBQ and BEEREX - only £8 - limited places available. MORE DETAILS

    3170 and trailer at Poppleton Junction near York. (c) Ken Hoole Study Centre NER PETROL ELECTRIC: Despite being based on the Railway for some time now, I have only just got round to putting a page together about the vehicle - many thanks to Simon Gott for the information! As the Railway are part of the Trust which aims to restore and operate this historic vehicle, it is only right that we share some of the information! The Trust has achieved a Stage One pass for Lottery funding. MORE DETAILS.

    BEER: We are conducting a 6-month trial in the Buffet Car, serving bottle conditioned local beers and some foreign lagers. So far we have beers from the following breweries: Saltaire, Summer Wine, Naylors, Old Bear with more lined up over the coming months. We currently have a Wheat Beer and a Ginger Beer to see how these go down. We attempt to open the Buffet Car on Saturdays and Sundays, subject to the availability of volunteers to man the Buffet Car. If you'd like to become involved in this, get in touch!

    SKIPTON 15/05/09

    As has been mentioned elsewhere, we aim to return trains to Skipton, from Embsay. To this end, the first Network Rail study (GRIP 1) has been completed, and so far everything is going well! Two further studies are required before any work can start, and the project will cost somewhere in the region of £2 million. The idea is that Embsay Junction would be reinstated, fully signalled, controlled from York, and we would operate services between Skipton and Embsay, using part Network Rail's branch to Swinden Quarry (Tarmac). We would use Platform 5 at Skipton, which is currently derelict, and could operate a Park and Ride service for Skipton using our large car park at Bolton Abbey station. This would hopefully ease the traffic going into Skipton...

    A new range of Skipton Savers has been launched to help raise funds for the project: these can be bought on the train or in the shop at Embsay, and allow your money paid to be doubled against tickets in 12 months' time.

    37 294 27/03/09

    This Class 37 has just arrived on the Railway following its purchase by a new owner. It will be the guest engine for July's Diesel Gala, and will not operate any services prior to this. The lineup for the Diesel Gala is looking very impressive at the moment:

    "37294 will be running at the gala along with 47004, D.5600, 31119, Class 14 D.9513, 08773, 08054, D.2203 & No.36! The 08's, 04 & 36 will be on the shuttles, and it is hoped the Class 14 will be going full line." - A timetable will be published shortly!

    37294 upon arrival. (c) Tim Warner 37294 upon arrival. (c) Tim Warner 37294 upon arrival. (c) Tim Warner

    The re-railing vehicle purchased by a member earlier this year. (c) Tim Warner The Class 14 is having attention to its cooling system, with replacement parts having been sourced recently. Efforts will now focus on modifying these components to suit. Fowler H.W.Robinson has entered the shed and has been stripped down for repairs. The gearbox issues it suffered from seem to have all come from a collapsed bearing, but time will be spent going through the gearbox carefully and swapping any worn parts with the spares we have.

    Annie's boiler freshly painted. (c) Tim Warner 22 has seen much more work carried out with it now being a pile of parts in the shed! The firebox has been removed and sent away to be copied, the valve gear is due back shortly and the cylinders and pistons have been checked. The rings were incredibly worn! Annie is making slow progress as work concentrates on the chassis. Far more jobs have been found that need tackling, and new horns and axlebox modifications are in hand. The boiler has been painted and the new smokebox is being fabricated. Beatrice is moving on apace with the boiler now ready to go back into the frames after the final riveting was completed. Primrose's chassis continues to make progress with all the paint being stripped off and other jobs attended to. Illingworth has now been dismantled again to allow access to the boiler for the remaining work to be completed.

    The inner firebox from No.22 on removal - note how thin the top is! (c) Tim Warner The rest of No.22's boiler is in much better condition. (c) Tim Warner No.22 in the course of being stripped back. (c) Tim Warner

    Stephen Middleton at work on his 6-wheelers. (c) Tim Warner Site tidying at Embsay continues and recently saw the demise of the old mess hut. It took very little to demolish it! Well done to all those who have heled to fit out the new mess hut, and who are working on the second one at the moment! We hope to have a much tidier site by Easter to benefit both the public who visit and the members who work here. The new toilet block at Embsay is also moving along with work centred on installing the new roof over the existing toilets and the new part of the building. Tom's LMS van undergoing significant work to metal and wood. (c) Tim Warner

    Carriage and Wagon are working on the Buffet Car in the shed which is now in need of lifting to see work completed. Tom is busy rebuilding his van... replacing almost everything in the process! I can only hope mine isn't as bad... Work on the Midland Railway coaches from Ireland should start later in the year, subject to space being available. Not a lot of work is required to regauge them back to 4' 8.5", but the opportunity will be taken to tackle the bogies thoroughly. The LMS Shark brakevan is also going to be rebuilt, all being well. Stephen Middleton has been repairing the 6-wheeled carriages and repainting is now taking place ready for the upcoming season. Work can then return to the LNWR Directors' Saloon which is not a long way off. The NER Petrol Electric Autocar has made progress with its funding and more details will follow soon.

    S&T have been working away on all projects as and when other commitments allow, with the new groundframe for Bolton Abbey coming on steadily - now at the point of having the rodding runs laid out. The lead-out bench has been completed. Sleights Sidings East has seen a lot of attention focus on removing the LMS designed blockshelf (carefully, for possible reuse) and tackling more of the windows. A new set of rollers for these windows have been made and should arrive soon... as should new shiplap boarding for the downstairs.

    More news and photos will be added in the coming week or two, all being well as work commitments have eased for Easter!

    Hot Food at Bolton Abbey 31/01/09

    We are pleased to announce that on Sundays, starting 1st February 2009, Hot Food will be available at Bolton Abbey Station in the Refreshment Rooms. This home-made food is being produced by Kelvin from Pan Loafy's (formerly in Skipton).

    Ho! Ho! Ho! 23/12/08

    Happy Christmas!

    Santa Trains have now finished after a successful season. Thomas was paired with Darfield on the six coach trains in December and performed well, along with Monckton and the Pannier, 6435. Below can be seen a selection of photos from the events, mainly taken at Stoneacre during the course of lamping, which has been a weekly S&T duty during the season.

    6435 enters Stoneacre from Bolton Abbey with a 5-coach special. (c) Tim Warner 6435 restarting from Stoenacre a few minutes later. (c) Tim Warner Monckton enters the loop with 5 on. (c) Tim Warner Monckton again. (c) Tim Warner The train sits in the loop awaiting hte service from Embsay to pass. (c) Tim Warner End of the day, Darfield disposes. (c) Tim Warner End of the day, Darfield disposes. (c) Tim Warner Darfield and 6435 at Embsay after a day's work. (c) Tim Warner Thomas and Darfield with 6 on, entering Stoneacre. (c) Tim Warner

    Some of the photos I've got my hands on from the Steam Gala have yet to be added, but the first batch can be seen below.

     (c) Tim Warner  (c) Tim Warner  (c) Tim Warner  (c) Tim Warner  (c) Tim Warner  (c) Tim Warner  (c) Tim Warner  (c) Tim Warner  (c) Tim Warner  (c) Tim Warner  (c) Tim Warner  (c) Tim Warner  (c) Tim Warner  (c) Tim Warner  (c) Matthew Fisher  (c) Matthew Fisher  (c) Matthew Fisher  (c) Matthew Fisher  (c) Matthew Fisher  (c) Matthew Fisher  (c) Matthew Fisher Donations collectors and lineside security! (c) Matthew Fisher  (c) Matthew Fisher  (c) Matthew Fisher  (c) Matthew Fisher  (c) Matthew Fisher  (c) Matthew Fisher  (c) Matthew Fisher  (c) Matthew Fisher  (c) Matthew Fisher  (c) Matthew Fisher  (c) Matthew Fisher  (c) Matthew Fisher  (c) Matthew Fisher  (c) Matthew Fisher  (c) Matthew Fisher

    A HUGE effort went into tidying up at Embsay and getting more organised. There are still bits to complete, but well done to all those involved in the hard work!

    Work continues on the many locomotives undergoing overhaul, with Beatrice making progress and looking for additional volunteers to help tackle the painting work. Primrose is making steady progress, as is Annie (whose boiler has returned) despite additiaonl work having been found to be needed. No.22 has now been dismantled, the valve gear is in the process of being removed, as is the firebox. A new firebox is being ordered and a trip to Glasgow by its owner has produced some interesting bits and pieces with the promise of more to follow.

    No.36 is being painted in the shed following the completion of the rest of the jobs, Fowler H.W.Robinson has entered the shed and has been partially dismantled with a view to rebuilding the gearbox using a spare that was acquired some time ago as well as attending to the bodywork. 08 054 still needs a page setting up on the website (!) but has been stored a Bolton Abbey for the time being, nicely painted up in BR blue while components are sourced for the work required to bring it up to standard.

    Back together again! (c) Tim Warner Sleights Sidings East signalbox has been put back together and is looking more complete as and when time permits. New shiplap cladding is required for the back, in 15' lengths. The next challenge will be a set of stairs... Meanwhile, Bolton Abbey's groundframe is making steady progress with the lead-out bench being marked out. Also in progress is work on the bracket signal for Embsay which has almost been entirely painted and a lot of consideration is going into its location and staying / guying.

    A new arrival at the Railway yesterday took the shape of a converted SK which had been part of a re-railing train at Old Oak Common. It has been bought by a member and will benefit the Railway in various ways, not least by the kind donation of its batteries to a 'fleet' carriage.

    Book signing 14/11/08

    Mark Neale, Author of `Along Familiar Lines` will be doing a book signing session at Embsay station on Sunday 7th December (12 noon until 2pm). The book which traces the human story of railways in the Bradford area, has won critical acclaim and is on sale in the shop at Embsay (£3.50).

    Pannier 6435 will be visiting Embsay for the Santa Specials and will also hopefully be taking part in a photocharter or two - details to follow.

    Sleights Sidings East signalbox has now been put back together with the aid of a large crane. Work will now continue on re-cladding parts of this and making some steps and a landing.

    Life's always about trying to catch up! 27/10/08

    Despite a lack of news updates this Summer, a lot has been happening!

    Network Rail's first report into operating into Skipton Station has been received and on the basis of this we will be commissioning the second report detailing the economic benefits to the area.

    Both the Diesel Gala and the Steam Gala were successful events with a lot of visitors, and hopefully this can be built upon next year. A lot of photographs were taken at both events and these will steadily make their way into the galleries as and when time permits and photographers co-operate!

    On the steam locomotive front, 140 has been stopped for her ten-yearly overhaul following the deterioration of some of the crown stays which meant an earlier-than-planned exit, just after the August Thomas event. Work will hopefully start on overhauling this engine around Easter. Beatrice has been frustrating her owner John as he has tackled the valve settings. Things that were expected to be about right were not and so remedial work has been carried out. The end is in sight, and painting work will continue in anticipation of slotting the boiler back into the frames soon. Primrose has continued to be worked upon and the frames are now coming together nicely. Annie's boiler has returned to the Railway ready for fitting (?) and the new wooden buffer beam has also landed and awaits fitting. Revenge will soon look a lot more complete with the boiler going back in the frames while a new firebox is made. Work also continues on Warspite's boiler which came from Harry - a new tubeplate is being made for this (?). Work has also started on No.22 with the loco's boiler removed, inspected and a new firebox being arranged. New smokebox door components are on site ready.

    08 054 is having a page put together at the moment, but it made its debut at the Diesel Gala in BR blue being hardly recognisable as the loco that had arrived a few months before. Since then it has been stopped with wiring faults, but a lot of 08 spares are being acquired to enable its return to better working condition. No.38, the Class 14 has seen an improved performance when assembling the goods train for the steam gala, but further work is required on the cooling. No.36 is very nearly ready to return to service - Danny and Co. are on with its repaint. Work has also started on the small Fowler, H.W.Robinson with the spare gearbox stripped down to recover the components required for the gearbox rebuild. The next step will be to tackle the bodywork.

    No.38 sits at Bolton Abbey with the goods train. (c) Tim Warner Inside the cab of No.38. (c) Tim Warner No.38 climbing up the bank. (c) Tim Warner No.38 in the coutryside. (c) Tim Warner
    Carriage and Wagon have outshopped No.4 into traffic following a lot of work.

    Stately Trains' Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Directors' Saloon has returned to the Railway following its spell at the NRM, and was very popular ove the Steam Gala. Sadly the LNWR Directors' Saloon didn't make it in time for the gala, but it will be worth waiting for! The goods train that ran produced soem very favourable comments and featured another two 'new' wagons following concerted efforts: an LMS 5-plank open (allegedly with GWR origins...!) and an LNER brakevan, the paint on which was most definitely still soft!

    Signal and Telegraph have been tackling more work on the bracket signal for Embsay with painting now approaching completetion, working on Bolton Abbey's new groundframe, carrying out routine maintenance and sampling tea. In the last couple of weeks, the base of Sleights Sidings East Signalbox has been placed on the foundations at Bolton Abbey, levelled, squared up and reassembled. In the next couple of weeks the top will be put back onto the base!

    Digging foundations for the signalbox. (c) Tim Warner Spreading the concrete around. (c) Tim Warner
    P-Way have been working away to gain nationally recognised qualifications as well as tackling switch replacements, joint repairs and other work.

    Building work on the new toilets at Embsay has come on very well with the walling finished and the roofing expected to start shortly.

    Dave proudly installing the date stone. (c) Tim Warner The toilets block walls. (c) Tim Warner Richard busy working away. (c) Tim Warner

    On the horsebox front, a trip was made to North Wales to recover components from no less than FIVE LMS horsebox bodies that were scheduled for removal. Whilst a lot of the parts were not directly related to the LNWR vehicles, they will never the less prove useful.

    Over the coming weeks a grand tidy up is scheduled and all members are expected to participate in improving what we have for both the visiting public and ourselves!

    Exciting Visitors 12/07/08

    It has just been confirmed that LNER D49/1, Morayshire will be visiting the Railway for our Steam Gala in September 2008.

    Due to arrive shortly is 33 109 which is visiting for the Diesel Gala, which sees a revised timetable published.

    Also due to arrive shortly is Darfield No.1 which was formerly based on the Railway. This loco will be staying for a year.

    Illingworth's frames, boiler, tank and cab have arrived for reassembly and finishing work to take place. Primrose's chassis will be returning to the Railway very soon following the completion of contract work. The rest of the work will then be carried out on site with a return to steam being pencilled in for within 2 years time. Work on Annie (boiler almost complete) and Beatrice (painting and finishing components) continues.

    P-Way continue to tackle some reballasting work at Bow Bridge. S&T work on the new bracket signal, Bolton Abbey groundframe, Guiseley repaint (weather permitting) East Yard and Sleights Sidings East all continue to make good progress, with concrete foundations poured this week for SSE.

    Catching up 07/06/08

    Following a very good Ivor event, the Spring Bank Holiday 'Day out with Thomas' was also a success. The Stately Trains 6-wheelers are now back in service for the Summer providing First Class travel. The LNWR Directors' Saloon will, all being well, enter traffic in time for the Gala weekend...
    The Class 14 in the top yard. (c) Tim Warner
    The week before: wanting to break out of the top yard!
    The Class 14 arriving at Bolton Abbey for the first time. (c) Tim Warner The Class 14 at Bolton Abbey. (c) Tim Warner
    First time at Bolton Abbey
    Top of the bill must be the test run of the Class 14, No.38, formerly BR D.9513, which took place on Saturday 31st May 2008. The loco finally escaped from the top yard, shunted some empty stock and finished up the day with a return trip over the line thus making its first appearance at Bolton Abbey. The test run threw up some other problems to be resolved, but progress has made and its 'proper' debut at the Diesel gala seems to be on course nicely.
    The Class 14 leaving Bolton Abbey MOVIE. (c) Tim Warner
    10.6Mb Quicktime movie
    Ivor piloting Monckton... (c) Tom Ireland

    No.36 continues to be worked on, with painting now taking place. Painting is also being carried out on 08 054, which I really will get round to producing a page for in the near future!

    On the steam loco front Darfield will not be coming until July, 140 continues to run well but Monckton has been stopped requiring attention to at least a couple of springs. Beatrice continues to come together steadily with painting work being the order of the day following the rivetting and welding work carried out on the smokebox with the boiler out of the frames once more. Illingworth has appeared on site in a very much dismantled state, but reassembly will take place over the coming weeks and months. Annie is also seeing work carried out... Off site for the moment is Primrose but work has speeded up on this project as well, with a 'completion' date for the current contract work on the chassis scheduled for the end of June...

    Illingworth's wheels arrived first... (c) Tim Warner Illingworth's frames in the shed. (c) Tim Warner A close-up of one of Illingworth's cylinders. (c) Tim Warner
    As if that weren't enough, a tender engine is being lined up for the Gala at the moment and will be announced shortly. Safe to say it should generate a lot of interest! DETAILS SHORTLY!

    P-Way have been working away at Bow Bridge and also tackling dipped joints near Stoneacre.

    Bolton Abbey's new groundframe next to the one it will replace. (c) Tim Warner Rob at work drilling holes for locating the levers. (c) Rob Daniels Rob had been lining up more items to acquire for S&T, only to find that the groundframe from Stanlow had been stolen before we could get it. This is a shame in particular because we could have kept it 'together' with the signalbox frame from Stanlow and Thornton which we DO have! Two windows have been put back into Guiseley signalbox following the repairs, leaving only one outstanding which is having significant work carried out. Painting of the exterior of Guiseley has been started with the staircase, and work continues with Sleights Sidings East whose foundations should finally be seeing some concrete in the coming weeks! The interior is now looking much smarter and the windows will see further attention, to strip and paint, shortly. The bracket signal has not been forgotten either as it has now dried out sufficiently for painting to commence. Bolton Abbey's new groundframe is also coming together well with the main structure installed, aligned and levelled. The levers have been fitted and the locking re-installed. Connecting up will wait for the moment whilst the new rodding runs are put into place, but the benches will be installed in readiness.

    The new toilet block at Embsay has been coming along in leaps and bounds with the interior walls complete and work well underway on the exterior walls. The interior fittings and finishing will be able to be tackled shortly as the materials are all in stock. The result should be a much improved facility for visitors and members alike!

    Work progressing on the removal of the old platform wall (dating from the 1950s). (c) Tim Warner The grand tidying up has begun with materials 'stored' at Bolton Abbey being removed from their very prominent positions. This huge job will continue over the coming weeks and will also see improvements at Embsay which will now be possible folowing the progress made with the shed project. Assistance is needed with this!

    As a follow-on from the tidy up at Bolton Abbey, the remains of the second platform wall are being dismantled in readiness for the rebuilding of the platform. This may seem a little odd, but the old platform clearances are not deemed sufficient, so the wall needs to be moved back. These will be excavated in readiness for footings to be laid and the walls will be built up over time and filled in with ash and other spoil removed from elsewhere along the line.

    All Sorts 15/04/08

    A lot has happened over the last couple of weeks, and even more is due to happen in the coming weeks!

    P-Way completed the re-railing through Embsay station's platform 1 in time for Easter - the new rail is noticeably deeper than the old, which dated back to the LMS relaying of the line in the 1930s! Needless to say, the replaced rail is life expired!

    Both the Class 14 and No.36 have been fired up again to see whether teething problems have been ironed out. The Class 14 (No.38) is having problems attempting to move itself, but No.36 has successfully moved under its own power. 08 054 has also moved under its own power and is still being cleaned up and assessed. It is having a rough repaint for protection until it can be brought inside and properly stripped down. D.5600 has also been in service over the Thomas event, following 31 119 suffering some sort of fuel problem.

    140 is having a length of pipe replaced which should improve her performance. Monckton has been running well, apart from an injector which is being attended to. Beatrice and Annie continue to see work carried out, although the loco department would really appreciate other offers of help to speed these projects up. Illingworth has started to arrive on site for reassembly, although no timescales are being given for this last survivor of the Nidd Vally Light Railway.

    Stanlow and Thornton 15/04/08

    Signal and Telegraph have had another busy few weeks with a trip to see Stanlow and Thornton signalbox prior to demolition, the arrival of the lever frame, stripped down into its individual components, repair work to the ex-Guiseley box at Bolton Abbey, continued work on the groundframe and Sleights Sidings East box as well as tea drinking!
    Inside the box. More frame components. The exterior. Arrival of the frame.
    Inside SSE showing the walls in undercoat. (c) Tim Warner We are now in posession of the 50-lever REC tappet frame from Stanlow and Thornton signalbox which was built in 1941 to a standard LMS design, and has now been demolished. Many thanks are due to all those involved in its acquisition, particularly Rob at our end, Network Rail's Ian Smith (Chester Locking Fitter), Mark Royal and Simon Kenyon and First Engineering's Eavan Harris, Jim Patrick, Mike Delaney and Alan Cooper who made it all possible. It will be built up into a smaller frame to go in Embsay's signalbox, allowing Embsay's frame to be moved to Sleights! It also gives us the possibility of another frame for a future project. Included in the ex-Stanlow and Thornton equipment was the wooden furniture from the signalbox which will be used to fit-out SSE as the demonstration box.

    SSE has been stripped back, sanded and repainting internally has started. The colour scheme will be a Midland red on the lower half, and a yellowy cream on the upper, based on paint found inside the signalbox.

    At the other end of the site, we have now successfully replaced the windowsill at the East end of Guiseley signalbox (which houses the power frame to eventually control Bolton Abbey). The original was known to be in a very poor condition, and upon inspection required replacement. This has now been done, although the windows also require some attention before they can go back in. Since writing this, two of the windows have been repaired, and the third awaits complete rebuilding!

    Initial inspection. (c) Tim Warner Overall view before work started. (c) Tim Warner Removing the old windowsill in sections - this is the better part! (c) Tim Warner All woodwork requiring replacement removed. (c) Tim Warner The new sill being made in two halves. (c) Tim Warner All the new wood in situ. (c) Tim Warner Window repairs - trimming off the rot. (c) Tim Warner Window repairs - finishing the large window. (c) Tim Warner New bottom section being prepared for fitting. (c) Tim Warner

    Catching up (again!) 11/03/08

    The Volunteering Open Day went very well - thankyou to all those involved - particular thanks to Beth for the organisation! To those of you who came along - thanks also, and we hope you enjoyed it!

    08054 upon arrival. (c) Tim Warner 08054 upon arrival. (c) Tim Warner A closeup of the lime buildup and its result. (c) Tim Warner
    The Grassington Ghost: 08 shunter 08 054 has been donated by its previous owners, Tarmac, who operate the quarry at Swinden on the Grasington branch. Since its arrival, the loco has been cleaned down (including shovelling out a lot of lime dust), checked over and has had attention to the engine, allowing it to be started up for the first time in 18 months. Work will now continue to get it into serviceable condition. Its eventual role is that of a rescue loco to be based at Bolton Abbey station.

    John drilling out old studs on Beatrice. (c) Tim Warner P-Way re-railing through Embsay station - platform 1. (c) Tim Warner Work continues on Beatrice, with owner John being up and working on refitting the motion, prior to the boiler being replaced again following foundation ring attention. Annie is steadily being stripped down and cleaned up with work carried out where required. The cylinders will be rebored to make sure they are the same diameter and also to maximise output. The wheels are due to go away for turning shortly and the axleboxes are due to have attention as well. Monckton has had some minor work carried out and is now awaiting its boiler inspection, while 140 has taken charge of the services recently. No.22's new owner is giving serious thought to overhaul...

    P-Way have been tackling the top yard trackworks, as well as re-railing the 'high' side of the line through platform 1 with new rail to replace the worn originals which date back to LMS relaying! This work should be completed next weekend in time for Easter.

    Diesel and Plant have continued to work on the Class 14 as well as No.36, which has been successfully started up following the completion of the engine re-assembly. The last file below of No.36 is a quicktime movie.

    Inside - final preparations before moving outside to start up. (c) Tim Warner A closeup of the engine showing the finish. (c) Tim Warner A closeup of the other side of the engine. (c) Tim Warner Starting up - QUICKTIME MOVIE. (c) Tim Warner

    The end of the shed showing its new sign. (c) Tim Warner The shed is approaching completion on the wiring front, with lighting now installed and work continues to set up the machine shop. Contractors are completing the electrical work in the 2-road shed.

    Inside the machine shop, carrying out maintenance work to the machines. (c) Tim Warner The machineshop viewed from outside. (c) Tim Warner

    Carriage and Wagon have continued to work on No.4 with the second end being the current focus of work. This is now really close to completion.

    The end of No.4 following repairs. (c) Tim Warner The metal that needed replacing. (c) Tim Warner
    The bracket signal inside to dry out before painting can take place. (c) Tim Warner The all important TEA in the signalbox! (c) Tim Warner Signal and Telegraph have been tackling several minor repairs - the solar panels at Stoneacre, a compensator bench at Embsay, unloading wagons and drinking yet more tea! In between these smaller jobs, the bracket signal for Embsay has been completely dismantled and moved into the shed for drying out and painting following the completion of all the other work. The new groundframe for Bolton Abbey has been delivered to its new location and reassembly and installation will be completed shortly after Easter, all being well. Sleights Sidings East signalbox has had its foundations dug and hopefully concreteing will be able to take place after Easter, with the base being placed on its foundations soon after that. The interior has been stripped out in preparation for painting: the colour scheme has been determined by matching old paint found inside the box. The window panes will be reseated in putty to make sure it is well and truely weathertight! The exterior of the signalbox will be repainted this year when the weather improves and the ex-Guiseley box will receive similar attention as well as some woodwork repairs.

    Another acquisition (it is hoped!) is the 50-lever REC frame from Stanlow and Thornton signalbox which is being demolished imminently. It will be able to be used to extend Embsay's frame, as well as provide a frame for Sleights Sidings East signalbox at Bolton Abbey (the demonstration signalbox).

    Volunteering Open Day 26/02/08

    This is going ahead on Saturday 8th March, 2008. Details of this day can be found HERE. This is YOUR opportunity to have a look around the Railway to see what operating our line actually takes, and how YOU can become a part of that! The tours will also include our new shed and workshop facilities which are progressing very well.

    A busy weekend 29/01/08

    ...certainly on the S&T front, with the successful move of Sleights Sidings East signalbox to Bolton Abbey station where it is to be rebuilt and eventually fitted out as a demonstration signalbox with access available to the public. A full day's work on Saturday saw the signalbox cut into two sections (top and bottom), loaded up and transported back to North Yorkshire, with unloading taking place on the Sunday morning. We would like to place on record our thanks to the hauliers and the previous owners of the signalbox who saved it from being destroyed. More photographs from the move can be found in the S&T section of the departments website.
    Sleights Sidings East (top) in transit! (c) Tim Warner. Sleights Sidings East (base) in transit! (c) Tim Warner. Sleights Sidings East unloaded at Bolton Abbey. (c) Tim Warner.

    The next steps were taken straight away to remove the remaining internal (modern) fittings and prepare the interior for painting. Saleem and Ryan put a lot of effort into tidying up the 'box upon arrival, with broken windows having their glass removed and being boarded up pending replacement.

    On the steam loco front, Beatrice saw further work carried out with the smokebox being rivetted onto the boiler barrel. Further painting has also been carried out on components for Beatrice and we look forward to her return to traffic.

    The diesels undergoing overhaul have been shunted around in the shed so that No.36 is now at the front of the shed as it is anticipated that it will be completed first. The engine reassembly is going very well, and additional bodywork is being carried out at the same time. The Class 14 was started up again and ran better than at the previous attempts whilst it was shunted around outside. Once these two locos are completed, attention will turn to the Diesel Railcrane and the second Fowler.

    Work inside the LNWR saloon. (c) Tim Warner. Work on the 12-wheeled LNWR Directors' Saloon continues apace with all the glazing and beading now completed, a new roof canvas fitted, the interior re-wired and new ceiling panels being fitted. Reassembling the interior has been a rewarding task for Steve, but incredibly frustrating at times when the scale of the destruction has become apparent. This stems from when the coach was ripped apart to try and determine how much dry rot was present. Consequently a lot of the interior moulding have been destroyed and will have to be replaced. All being well, the carriage will make its debut at the Steam Gala.

    Work continues on the shed with wiring contractors currently fitting out the shed. Machines continue to be serviced in preparation for installation, and P-Way have been laying rails in the 2-road shed. A shunt of the top yard has taken place to allow the point connecting road 4 to be craned into position next weekend.

    Work on the new toilets at Embsay. (c) Tim Warner. Work on the new toilet block at Embsay continues with the drains being completed, inspected and covered over. Construction of the walls should start soon.

    Site tidying at Embsay is to restart imminently with a good start having been made several months ago.

    Plans for the Volunteering Open Day are coming together and will be posted here shortly.

    Catching up 7/01/08

    Throughout the Santa Specials (which were a resounding success - all trains operating as planned and on time!) work has continued on the shed project with the machineshop mesh 'walls' being adapted to suit our needs, machines being serviced, painted and prepared to go into the machineshop. P-Way have been re-railing the 2-road shed with the appropriate flatbottomed rail which originally came from th Leeds First project a few years ago. The remaining pointwork is to be tackled shortly. Electrical contractors will be starting work shortly to install the electrics for the buildings, so light and power are imminent!

    Sleights Sidings East signalbox has not yet made it to Bolton Abbey, but this should happen soon! The bracket signal has had additional work carried out, but time has also had to be spent re-siting No.10 groundsignal whose wooden base proved to be past it. The opportunity has also been taken to renew some cabling for the track circuits and the signal lighting supplies. We have also had to replace a section of signalwire for No.2 signal which broke during the Santa season, but this was fairly straigtforward, despite needing two sections of chain letting in where previously wire rope had been used.

    D&P continue work on the Class 14, No.36 and the various items of plant and machinery. The Class 47s steam boiler has now been removed from the loco, stripped down, inspected and work carried out. It now requires painting, hydraulic testing, steaming and refitting.

    Work continues on Annie with efforts to dismantle ready for assessment and overhaul work. Beatrice has seen attention to the new smokebox with the holes being drilled in readiness for rivetting on to the tubeplate flange. Harry's boiler has had further work caried out to the replacement tubeplate (this boiler is destined for Warspite).

    Dates have now been set for the DIESEL WEEKEND (19th & 20th July) and the STEAM GALA (20th & 21st September), which will both feature visiting and 'new' locomotives.

    A Volunteering Open Day is being arranged for Saturday 8th March 2008 where prospective volunteers are invited to turn up and have a look behind the scenes at the sorts of tasks we undertake. Further details will be posted here shortly.

    The rest of the older news articles can now be found on previous Archived News pages.


    Yorkshire Dales Railway Museum Trust (Holdings) Limited
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    Bolton Abbey Station, Bolton Abbey, Skipton, North Yorkshire, BD23 6AF
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