C2 Project News

Mid June 2019

A busy weekend on the Ff&WHR!

So far this year we have been running two working parties a month, but we normally reduce to one a month through the summer because many of us are busy running trains. Nevertheless, we had decided to have an extra working party in mid June as several of us were available. In the end, the railway was running a lot of special trains at short notice, and we were all borrowed for the loco roster or as gravity train brakesmen. We thought we'd do a website update to give you a feel of some of the other things we do for the railway. There's a bit of C2 stuff at the end though, so keep reading!
Over the three days of our long weekend, Andrew, Alan, Jon and Paul were all involved in driving regular and special trains on the FR and WHR. Daves 1 and 2 and Chris acted as brakesmen on several demonstration gravity slate trains. But we'll start with a loco that has a tenuous link with our C2 - you can read more about it here.
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Back in 2008 when our locomotive was newly imported, it spent a few months on display at the National Railway Museum's Shildon site. On an adjacent track was another newly-imported narrow gauge loco, a WWI Hunslet, also in need of a lot of work to make it run. Well the team working on number 303 have been a bit quicker than us, helped by a large National Lottery grant. The newly-completed loco is currently visiting the Ff&WHR and hauled some special trains over the weekend. Here it simmers in Boston Lodge yard. Well done to the restoration team for finishing it to such a high standard.
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The rare sight of two double Farlies at Dduallt. On Sunday, Paul had hauled the slate train up here with Merddin Emrys, and was waiting for a path to return light engine. Meanwhile Alan is driving David Lloyd George on a scheduled passenger train.
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David Lloyd George has now looped around the spiral and appears above Merddin Emrys .
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Andrew's duty on Sunday was to bring Chaloner from Dinas to Boston Lodge, a distance of over 20 miles. For this archaic slate quarry 'coffee pot' it must have seemed a mammoth journey. The wagon was needed to carry extra coal supplies.
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Chaloner stands at Waenfaur next to the new replica station building.
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Paul drives Merddin Emrys over Cei Mawr hauling the second slate train on Sunday (Photo: Dave Thurlow).
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A wonderful photo of the slate train crossing Cei Mawr. The brakesmen from the C2 group included Daves 1 and 2, and Chris; Paul was driving the loco (Photo: Dave Thurlow).
Meanwhile, Ed and his friend Barney have been to China. With a day to spare in Beijing they went to Dahuichang to see if there was still anything there. Paul's previous visit in 2013 had found two locos still in the shed - were they still there? They were!
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Exterior of the loco shed at Dahuichang. (Photo: Ed or Barney)
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Locos 2 and 3 in the shed at Dahuichang. (Photo: Ed or Barney)
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The rails are still in place along most of the line, though some of it is very overgrown. This is one of the more accessible stretches. (Photo: Ed or Barney)
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The loading chutes in the tunnel at the top of the line. (Photo: Ed or Barney)
Paul has been continuing his research into the history of the class, and has also come across some useful technical documentation. An example is a little booklet about inspection and maintenance, published in 1981. The foreward of the book translates as:

"This booklet is based on the technical data of the narrow-gauge railway steam locomotive and the forest railway steam locomotive. It was compiled on the basis of many tests and inspections on the 28-ton steam locomotive produced by Harbin Forestry Machinery Factory. This book is based on the 28-ton steam locomotive produced by Harbin Forestry Machinery Factory. It describes the locomotive inspection, maintenance, oil supply and troubleshooting. It can be used in the forest railway and local narrow-gauge railway application as a learning reference for steam locomotive crew and locomotive maintenance technicians."
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Front cover of the C2 inspection and maintenance manual.
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The manual includes a very detailed 243-point check; the first page of the description is shown here.
Finally, Andrew did actually have a chance to do some work on the C2! Continuing his work on the crashbeams, he added the grip to the footsteps for the loco and tender. This is in the form of Mandarin lettering produced in weld. The new loco footstep is based on the existing Chinese one, while the tender footsteps are inspired by some that Paul photographed in China earlier this year.
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We already had one front footstep which was carried by the loco when we bought it. Andrew replicated this for the other side. The characters are 富 平安 Fu PingAn, loosely meaning 'Good Luck, Go Safely'.
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Mandarin characters marked up on a tender footstep, ready for welding.
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Fireman's side tender footstep on a C2 surviving at Shanhetun, which formerly worked on the forestry railway there.
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Driver's side tender footstep on a C2 surviving at Shanhetun, which formerly worked on the forestry railway there.
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Andrew has done a very neat job of writing the characters in weld. The characters are 安全 AnQuan.
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The other footstep reads 行车 XingChe. Together the phrase 安全行车 means 'Drive Safely'.
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All four footsteps together. The painted one is the old one.
Actually, there has been more C2 work proceeding this week as Erle took some 'homework' on the lubricator project. and Paul has been buying some more parts for the cab window refurbishment. We'll all be back at the FR in a couple of weeks for a full-on C2 working party.
News Archive 
Late May 2019