Not much to report this week. We managed to get so much machining done last week that there wasn't enough left to do to justify a working party today. In the meantime we are waiting for more items to be delivered from the fabricators. Once those arrive then there will be a lot of drilling and painting to do so the plan is to have another working day next week. In the meantime I've finished the last of the drawings.
A very good day in the workshop with Malcolm and Mike. I had picked the stretcher bars up yesterday and all but one of the drawings are now with Jason Reeves who is doing the fabrications. So today Malcolm started off by setting up the cast spring seats on the copying lathe. 16 needed boring out, then the bore needed to have a taper added so that they fit over the rubber cones. A couple of hours later and all were complete. Here are a few of them after I'd painted them in primer.
On top of some of the piles are some sliding collars. Mike meanwhile was machining the suspension rods then Malcolm used the lathe to cut the threads on their ends. I had drilled the four stretcher bars and then couldn't resist making a trial assembly of a suspension unit. This shows how the rubber cones, which act as dampers, fit over the rods. They just need the coil springs to be delivered.
I was quite pleased with that. Meanwhile Mike started on the pivots for the brake pawls and I started to machine cotter pins to hang the brake blocks on. Malcolm then took pity on me and finished them off in no time and this is the result.
The wheelsets are coming on well and the running gear is on track to be completed by mid March.
I'll try and keep this blog going now each week as the work progresses. The week has been a busy one with many parts collected and a lot of work done on drawings. The parts for the brake columns are now all at J R Englands in Cleckheaton and they are being made, two for Cambridge 7 and two for Beamish. The steel for the brake beams has been cut and delivered to the fabricators and the rubber suspension parts have been delivered.
Today Malcolm and I along with Mike Cook worked on machining the axleboxes and suspension parts. Malcolm spent the day milling out the slots on the front face of the axleboxes which will take the flat springs that provide the end float for the axles. The slot can just be seen inside the box nearest the camera.
On the left can be seen the sliding collars that are put into the axleboxes that provide a seat for the coil springs and rubber cones.
Mike spent the day machining the suspension rods and I drilled out the sacrificial tubes that fit round them and also drilled the solebar plates that provide the mounting under the solebars for each of the four suspension units.
There are only four but the fifth is going to be posted to Ipswich to act as a drilling guide for the dummy underframe.
All in all a good weeks progress. Hopefully more next week.
The launch of Leeds Horse Car 107 will take place over the Bank Holiday weekend of Sunday 25th and Monday 26th August at the Middleton Railway in its home city as the centrepiece of the “Leeds Festival of Transport.” This event will not only include the launch of the tram will feature steam and diesel services on the railway, a gathering of Leeds built steam road vehicles and other preserved buses.
Final details of the launch of 107 are currently being formulated but it is planned that the tram will operate on the line in the car park on both days of the event. This line is almost on the trackbed of the Middleton Light Railway which used to see the much missed Middleton Bogies operate the service. Before any public rides will be offered there will have to be some driver/crew training runs which are likely to have to take place on the first day of the event due to space constraints. But once these training runs are completed satisfactorily members of the public will be able to enjoy horse tram rides in Leeds once again. On the Monday more public services will be offered although these will be suspended between 1300 and 1430 for the official launch event which will see the Lord Mayor of Leeds attending.
An admission fee will be payable to the “Leeds Festival of Transport” and anyone who wishes to enjoy a ride on 107 will then be required to purchase a ticket, understandably so that the costs of hiring the horse can be covered. It is likely that the number of tickets for rides on 107 will be limited because of the need for the horses to change ends frequently as the line in the car park is fairly short. For those of you who have wanted to ride a tram in Leeds once again this will be a very rare opportunity as almost as soon as the event is over 107 will be transported south to Crich where it will join the extensive horse tram collection there.