Tuesday, June 19, 2007

I Made That....

Our train at Llangollen pulled into Carrog Station and there in the siding was an old North British Class 03 six wheeled diesel shunter. Many years ago when I worked at Alston Foundry in Cumberland as it then was, I helped make many of the castings that went to make up these locos. We also made replacement bits and pieces for older steam engines from time to time. But what caught my eye was these 32" driving wheels. Each one weighed in at 10 cwt, half a ton, each. The wheel was 6" thick. What is particularly memorable about them was, my job involved cutting off the ingates and risers with an oxy-acetyline torch. Now the riser was on the balance weight where the metal was at its most dense. The riser covered the entire surface of the balancer. The wheel was cast flat. Because the cut was 12" or so deep it needed something like 200psi of oxygen pushed through a 1/8" nozzle. Oh, and a steady hand to hold the burner (cutting torch). There were no profile machines in those days and we measured things in English, not this foreign metric stuff. I got very well paid for doing this because the wheel had to be cut while the metal (cast steel) was still at dull cherry. Warm work to say the least.

We also made the brake shoes and its mechanism which you can also see here.

The connecting rods were not cast but drop forged and not by Alston Foundry.

I can truly say, "I made that," my mark is still on the inside rim. Mind you that was over 30 years ago.


At 5:01 PM, July 17, 2007, Blogger Eddie said...

Hi Iain.
Nothing like building a "Full Sized" hobby kit. Right?

You did a nice job nontheless.
I enjoy seeing the English side rod diesel shunters. They must be fun to watch in person.

Thank You.

Eddie's Railfan Page

At 8:21 AM, August 08, 2007, Blogger lapstrake said...

Wow, how about that?! Seeing an old locomotive is rare in itself, but seeing one for which you fabricated parts is extremely rare indeed.

There's something special about handmade parts - they have a little piece of the heart of the craftsman inside.

At 9:40 AM, March 04, 2008, Blogger Eddie said...

Is Ian there?
Hi Ian. This is Eddie K from the Chicago based blogsite
Eddie's Railfan Page.

Although I have been very busy with My own railfan blogsite, I couldn't help but notice that it has been nearly a year since we have seen a train posting from You
at Railway Roundabout.

Did the trains quit running out there? Myself and a few Chicago railfans miss your material, especially the steam subjects.

I hope that everything is alright.

Thank You.
Eddie K.


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