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2 days ago

My apologies to anyone who was disappointed in not being able to ride on the steam engine towards the end of the day on Saturday.
We had a safety issue when it was noticed that one of the brake blocks had split. These items are similar to brake shoes on a car and operate on the wheels . These items are not protected from changes in the weather and can sometimes break away before they are actually worn down.
It can be a relatively simple repair but we did not have spares available at the track.
It was too late to start steaming a cold engine up as they can sometimes take about an hour to reach operating pressure.

5 days ago

Just a quick reminder that it is The Hurworth Country show tomorrow and we will be running our track. We will be running the electrics, steam engines and the garden railway, 10am kick off.

1 week ago

This post is for anyone who has seen the model steam engines and fancies getting one themselves.

Don't do it.

Well actually, if you have plenty of money and a large private area of land, then go ahead and you will enjoy the experience but if this doesn't apply to you then read on.

These engines are quite expensive, need a decent size track, take some getting used to and have to conform to certain legal requirements.

My initial advice to anyone interested is to join a club. We are always looking for new members but shop around and visit all of your local clubs to see how they run, decide if you will fit in and ask plenty of questions. The local clubs are always happy to talk to interested individuals and give you advice.

By joining a club you will be covered by their insurance, they will train you in operating steam engines and you will be able to decide which engine works for you. As a member, most other members may allow you to drive their engines so you will get a feel as to how each different designed engine operates.

When you are finally ready to buy your own then talk to the club boiler inspectors and they will be able to tell you what certification is required when purchasing an engine and tell you what duration and type of testing is required by law.

This might seem a bit over the top but we have recently had a problem where the boiler inspector would not test an engine because the paperwork was not quite right.
The benefits of joining a club are quite good. You are covered by the club's insurance, you can drive the engines whenever you like subject to club rules and you don't have to bother with tests and repairs although all of our members tend to help out with these formalities
If you are a people person then you can get involved with the club running events.
I've been a member of our club for some years now and I have thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

1 week ago

We had a successful day at our Hurworth track yesterday. Some of us were there from 2pm until 9pm.
We started off by running a couple of steam engines on the track.
We also completed a successful hydraulic test on a member's boiler as well as a successful steam test on another member's engine.
We finished off the evening with 2 planned events. We had an hour's session giving rides to the local Rainbow group followed by a further hour for the Brownies.
The persistent drizzle didn't faze the Brownies and it seemed like they all enjoyed the experience.
We are doing the same again next Tuesday for the Beavers and the cubs.
We then retired to our club natter room for a well earned cuppa.

1 week ago

Just a reminder that we will be running the trains on SATURDAY 18th September in conjunction with The Hurworth Country Fair . We will be running both steam and electric trains and also our garden railway throughout the day.
We will be there all day.
Please be patient with us when we are running the steam trains as they can be temperamental. If the queue gets too long, we will pull the steam trains off temporarily and replace them with the electrics to shorten the waiting time.

Hope the weather is good for us.

Remember it is Saturday not Sunday.

Mick.

2 weeks ago

If you are in the area on the next 2 Tuesday evenings and you see us running the trains, I'm sorry but we are not open to normal running.
We are doing a few special evenings for the Cubs, Rainbows, Brownies and Beavers.
If any of the parents of these group members are reading this then you might want to pop down and take some photos.

2 weeks ago

We had an interested young lad on the trains on Sunday who had a conversation with one of our steam engine drivers. He had never seen coal before and ended up taking a few bits away with him.
We have also had conversations with adults who thought our steam engines were powered by batteries.
This got me thinking that a lot of our members are old enough to remember coal fires and steam engines were a normal mode of transport in those days.
For those of you who don't know, our model steam engines are basically a scaled down version of the real thing, they run only on water and coal with a bit of lubricating oil in the right places.
They are something like a kettle on wheels but the boiler is enclosed and allows the steam to get to really high temperatures and a high pressure. The high pressure is used to power pistons which transfer this motion to the wheels.
There is a fine balancing act required to keep the water level correct and the fire temperature right to maintain a working pressure.

Of course this is a simplified explanation so if you are interested in these things then talk to our members or drop me a line.

Mick.

2 weeks ago

My apologies for those who didn't get to ride the steam engines on Sunday. We had a few technical problems and had to pull them off the track because the queue was getting rather large. Steam engines can be temperamental beasts at the best of times. We are running them on Tuesday afternoon from about 4pm but this is only to sort out any problems before they are in use on Saturday18th September for Hurworth country fair. We won't be giving rides on Tuesday but you are welcome to come and see them in action, there will be at least 3.

3 weeks ago

We will probably have a number of steam engines available this Sunday.
Anyone riding on the electric engines will be riding in "Clean" air and the driver will be sat behind them wearing a mask.

On the steam engines, the driver needs to be at the front so the passengers may wish to wear a mask.

3 weeks ago

We are finally biting the bullet and will be running at least one steam engine on Sunday as well as one of the electrics.
Please bear with us as it takes time to get steam pressure up and steam engines can be temperamental things so we might have a few stoppages.

Mick.

3 weeks ago

As previously mentioned, we are running the garden railway today.
One of our members is bringing 3 "STEAM "locos to the track. so if you have nothing better to do, pop along.

This is a demonstration of what people can build in their own garden.

3 weeks ago

We had nothing planned for this weekend but we have not used the garden railway for a while so we thought we'd give it a run.
We will therefore be running the garden railway only from about 9.30 on Sunday.
I'm afraid this is only a visual demonstration but it might keep the kids and the big kids amused.

Mick.

1 month ago

Some of our members will be at the track on Sunday to work on their steam engines. We will not be giving rides.
We will be there in the afternoon from 12 until 4 provided the weather is fine.
If you want to see the steam engines working then pop along and see them but be aware this is a club activity and we will not be giving rides.

1 month ago

We have just had some new bookings, including a change of date for Halloween as follows:-
Halloween

This is not as anticipated on the 31st but is on :

Sunday 24th October 11am – 3-30pm



Santa at the station

3 weekends in December 10am – 4pm

4 & 5th ; 11 & 12th ; 18 & 19th.

The Santa at the Station events are extremely popular and the gifts given out are usually of very good quality. Please contact North Road Station to book a time slot for this event or you may miss out.

1 month ago

We had another good running day on Sunday but the weather started off a bit dodgy which may have kept some people away.
Here are some dates for your diary. The dates are not set in stone so could be changed depending on what happens with Covid in our area.
August 15th Public running Hurworth

September 5th Public Running Hurworth

September 18th Hurworth Country Fair (Note this is a Saturday)

September 26th North Road Museum 10am- 4pm on the field

October 3rd Public running Hurworth

October 17th Public running Hurworth

October 31st Halloween at North Road Museum (Subject to Covid)

We look forward to your support.

Please be aware that the 18th September is a Saturday and we are running in conjunction with Hurworth Country Fair and will be there all day.

1 month ago

Our next official track running day will be Sunday 15th August.
We are a responsible club and as such, do our best to ensure our passengers safety which is why we are not yet running the steam engines. We are waiting until the local covid cases return to an acceptable level.
You will have noticed that at the moment, passengers are travelling in clean air and our drivers are masked up to safeguard them. On a steam train it would be the passengers that need the protection, please bear with us as we are nearly there.
On a positive note, if anyone is getting steam engine withdrawal symptoms, we are running steam trains on the track this Sunday but will not be giving rides. This is a club event to keep the engines in working order after being mothballed for so long. So come on down to view them but please inform the kids that they may not get a ride. We might even have the garden railway working .

1 month ago

This Tuesday's meeting is taking place upstairs in The Grange. Take the back stairs above the cellar door. Through the door, turn left and along the passage.

Small set of stairs into very big room.

1 month ago

Just a reminder that we are running the electric engines this Sunday 1st August

2 months ago

Just a quick reminder that we are running our electric engines this Sunday 18th July.

2 months ago

We will be resuming our Tuesday evening meetings as from next Tuesday 20th July from around 7pm.
Any interested party will find us down in the cellar of The Grange Community Centre at Hurworth.

Mick.

2 months ago

Just a reminder that we are running the track on Sunday 18th July with electric engines.

2 months ago

2 months ago

My thanks to all of our passengers and members for making Sunday a successful day, even the weather played ball.
Our members reacted to a call for help and we were even able to run the garden railway.
Our next track running event will be Sunday 18th July, however if you are in the area this Tuesday afternoon 6th July then we will be running the garden railway and we might even have some steam engines on the track but we will not be giving rides as this is mainly a club event and we wont be carrying passengers on the steam engines until the covid restrictions are lifted.

Mick.

2 months ago

We are running the track this Sunday 4th July and again on Sunday 18th July.
We are still only using the electric engines for the time being.

2 months ago

For anyone who is getting withdrawal symptoms for steam engines, we are steaming up some engines this afternoon from 1pm.
Unfortunately we will not be giving any rides today. This is a club event to allow our members the opportunity to get back into running steam engines after over a year of being off the track.
Everyone is welcome to view the engines and chat to our members but I'm afraid that we won't be giving rides.
Mick.

3 months ago

Our next 2 track running dates will be Sunday 4th July and Sunday 18th July

3 months ago

Just a reminder that we are running our model trains this Sunday 20th June. Unfortunately it will still be just electrics from about 10 until around 12.30.

3 months ago

We are running our garden railway today from 2 pm.
These are not the ride on trains, they are the small table top models.

3 months ago

My thanks once again to all those who were riding on our trains this weekend. Our next track day will be Sunday 20th June.
Some of our steam trains should have been tested by then but I'm afraid we still feel that whilst this covid crisis is still prevalent, We should carry on in the same format, using electric trains only.
We have been talking to one of the parish councillors and there is a strong possibility that the new café will be open for our next running day. This will give parents an ideal opportunity to have a coffee out on the patio whilst keeping an eye on the kids in the play area.

3 months ago

Just a reminder that we are running the electric engines on the track this Sunday. I realise that people were disappointed that we didn't run on bank holiday weekend but unfortunately we didn't have enough members available to run the track safely.

4 months ago

I would like to thank all of the people who turned up today to ride on our trains.
This was the best Sunday turnout we have had for a long time, even in non covid times.
Our next Sunday running will take place on Sunday 6th June.
I'm sorry for disappointing anyone wishing to see the garden railway in operation but unfortunately we didn't have enough volunteers in attendance to safely run both tracks.
You probably noticed that most members were kept quite busy and we all need the occasional break. Hopefully we will have the garden railway running next time.
If anyone has any criticism or concerns regarding the way we are running the track then please let us know. If we don't get any adverse feedback then we will be running the track in the same manner next time.

Thanks.
Mick Stirman.

4 months ago

I'm sure that a lot of our regular passengers will be wondering when they can ride the Steam trains so I decided to let you know what the situation is regarding our future running.
For the foreseeable future we will be using the electric trains for carrying passengers.
All of our steam trains must comply with current legislation which means that they have to pass mandatory testing carried out by our boiler inspectors, this includes hydraulic testing of the boilers and a steam test of the engine.
Whilst the covid restrictions have been in place, we cancelled our insurance which also covers indemnity for the boiler inspectors.
Therefore, none of our engines have had their yearly steam test and some of these engines may also need a hydraulic test.
We now have insurance in place and these tests can now take place and we will be starting with the club engines so that we can start to use them for passenger carrying when we feel it is safe to do so.
Due to the covid rules, we have had to carry out a risk assessment on the way we operate. We have concluded that the safest way is to have the passengers in front of the driver, riding in clean air and have extra protection for the driver. (Masks and face shields).This is taking into account the increased airflow along the length of the moving train.
Whilst we adopt this policy, we cannot use the steam engines for the carrying of passengers because the driver needs to sit at the front.
I assure you that as soon as we deem it safe, we will revert to our normal operation. I'm sorry for the inconvenience but your safety is paramount to us.
Mick

4 months ago

Sorry for all of the posts about the same thing but this site is not completely user friendly and won't let me edit my posts.
We will be running our track on Sunday 16th May providing the weather allows. We will also have the garden railway working if we have the members available.
Rides will be £1 a circuit with a ticket for a further ride. However all passengers must exit the train after one circuit and re-join the queue.
Track and trace rules will still be in place so anyone over the age of 16 must provide contact information before riding.
We are doing our best to maintain everyone's health and safety but if you feel that we have missed something then please let us know.

4 months ago

May

I have a little hobby
And it’s driving model trains
The only time it gets me down
Is when it damn well rains

We’ve been shut down for ages now
This covid’s certainly not fun
I’ve even been told to take vitamin D
Cause I’ve not been in the sun

No friendly kind of contact
With the human race
And even if you venture out
You’ve got to track and trace

Holidays were out for sure
No places safe to go
Then locked up tight in winter
Looking out at the snow

Even April showers
Gave way to the frost
I’m hoping soon the sun will shine
So this year won’t be lost

But wait what am I saying?
The future’s looking good
The first Sunday in May for me
Was the start of something good

We opened up our track again
With covid rules in place
With NHS QR codes
To satisfy track and trace

Our drivers were protected
Passengers in clean air
We weren’t sure if we could do it
With the right amount of care

But the passengers got to hear of it
They came along to ride
They’ve been shut down as long as us
And were glad to get outside

So we’re looking to the future
Whatever comes our way
I never thought my favourite month
Would be the month of May

Mick Stirman

4 months ago

We will be opening our track this Sunday 16th May.
If we have enough members then the garden railway will also be running.
See you there but bring your big coat because there is good chance of showers.t

4 months ago

After the successful re opening of our track today, we are ready to make this a regular occurrence and will be open on the first Sunday of each month from 10am until 12.30. Thanks to all of our members and passengers who helped to make the re-opening a really successful occasion.
Our next event will be Sunday 6th June, weather permitting.

We may be adding some extra events so keep an eye on this page
Mick

4 months ago

5 months ago

We are opening up our track next Sunday 2nd May. We will be running electric trains only with only 2 passengers on the train. The driver will be sat behind them and will be using both face mask and face shield. Our price is now £1 a ride.
There will be barriers in place to segregate entry and exit.
Seats etc will be cleaned after use
Every person over 16 years old is required to leave their contact details using a sign in book or our NHS QR code for smart phones.
Our garden railway will also be open as long as we have enough people to handle it.
This is a new experience for us and we may get some things wrong so if you have any concerns please refrain from using the trains and talk to one of our members. We may open the track up on a more frequent basis but this decision has not yet been made.
Thank you for your support and co-operation

5 months ago

We will be giving rides on our trains on Sunday 2nd May. We will be using electric trains only. Passengers will be sat on the train with the driver behind them. The driver will be wearing both mask and faceshield.
We have increased the cost of a ride to £1. This is our first price increase in over 15 years.
Our club is self financing and non profit making, we have no sponsorship or grants from any source and rely on external events with our portable track to finance the club. We spend a considerable amount of money on rent and 5 million pounds worth of public liability insurance cover. Non of our museum events are taking place yet so we are currently in a loss making situation, however we are biting the bullet and hoping for an end to these restrictions. Our garden railway will also be open for visitors to see what they could achieve in their own garden.

5 months ago

It has come to our attention that there is an article in the Stockton and Darlington Times concerning our club with information regarding club meeting nights. We do indeed normally meet in The Grange on every Tuesday night but due to Covid restrictions this has not been the case for over a year now. I will post on this site when things get back to normal.
We are looking into opening our track for rides on the first Sunday of May. We need to determine if we can safely do this and we are today attending the track to carry out some essential maintenance in order to make this a possibility. The first opening of the track will be using electric trains only because at the moment we do not have the facilities to carry out mandatory hydraulic and steam tests on our steam engines. We anticipate some queuing on the opening of the track due to covid limited seating arrangements so please bear with us.

1 year ago

Good morning everyone, just a quick update on our model railway set up at The Grange Community Centre at Hurworth.
Our Garden Railway track will be in operation on Sunday 2nd August.
This is for demonstration only and is the first time of running since the Covid-19 crisis. You will be advised to keep a distance away from the track and from any spectators not in your family. If our advice is not observed then we will erect fencing or shut down the track.
Our members will be limited to 6 in the confines of the track and any other members will only be invited on the track when one of these leaves the area. Our members will be on hand to answer any questions regarding the models and track layout in case anyone has any intentions of building one at home. The track boards have been varnished and ballast applied over winter but that's as far as we got before lockdown.
The ride on model railway will not be functional for some time yet.
We are a private club with no backing or sponsorship from outside parties and although our membership nearly covers our rent we still require portable track events from local museums to enable us to cover £5,000,000 of public liability insurance to carry passengers. All of those events have been cancelled at the moment so when the events start up again, so will we.
We have also been looking at the safety aspects of carrying passengers as the government rules are not stringent enough for an open moving vehicle in limited confines so how we operate will be very different when we start up again.
Please bear with us and as soon as there is a change in the situation I will keep everyone informed.
Mick Stirman.

1 year ago

Unfortunately we are still unable to run our engines at Hurworth. We are not even letting club members use the track at present but when government guidelines change then we will re-assess the situation.
When we re-start our Sunday morning sessions One of our main problems will be to comply with social distancing on the available seating arrangements. We are looking into how this can be achieved and when the time is right I will keep everyone informed.

1 year ago

We went along to the Great North Air Ambulance offices at Urlay Nook on Tuesday to donate the proceeds of the Country Fair event at Hurworth. We raised almost £200 at this event and were invited to pose for a photo opportunity.
The Great North Air Ambulance is in the process of moving their operation into this modern facility. The builders are still finishing off some work but we had a guided tour of the place. At the moment, they are spread around different places and this new complex allows them to integrate both the office staff and air crew into one place. When the change happens, the helicopters will be based at this facility instead of Teesside Airport, there is a large hangar on the site and the landing site is ready to go. They have 3 helicopters, one here, one over near the Lake District and a spare. The new offices will house the crew downstairs in the office complex and the place has a number of rooms for their training which will include medical procedures. Our thanks to Ruth and the rest of The Great North Air Ambulance staff for giving us an insight into their operation.

2 years ago

We have contacted The Air Ambulance charity regarding the donation from last Saturday and they have invited us to a photo opportunity with a large scale cheque. Seems like a bit of overkill for a mere £200 but as they say "all publicity is good publicity" so we are setting this up.

2 years ago

On Sunday, some of our members attended York Model Engineers club where one of our members had entered an engine in The Stephenson's trials.
This is an annual event where model steam engines compete, pulling heavy weights in a limited time where the distance and weight of coal used ism measured to determine the efficiency of the engine.
This is the first time that York have hosted this event and they did an excellent job.
They have excellent facilities including a ground track, a raised track and a garden railway.
Check out their site or give them a visit and you will be well looked after.

2 years ago

We were running on Saturday in conjunction with The Hurworth Country fair. Our new Garden Railway was officially opened and it received quite a bit of interest.
We were celebrating our 50th anniversary and decided that all money from this event was going to The Air Ambulance.
Thanks to everyone who supported us on Saturday, the total money from rides and donations amounted to £190 which will be on its way to this charity.

2 years ago

We have done some more work on our new garden railway track and we now have both the inside track and outside track complete with 2 sets of points to cross over the tracks if required.

2 years ago

Update of our new garden railway with 2 complete tracks.

2 years ago

2 years ago

We are running trains on Saturday 14th September at Hurworth Grange Country Fair. Takings for train rides will be donated to the Air Ambulance to mark the 50th Anniversary of our track at the Grange.

2 years ago

A bit more about our club.
First of all, we have a web site where you can gain a bit more about our club. It is www.sdsme.co.uk
You will notice that the landscaping around our site is not exactly the prettiest, especially if you have visited similar sites across the country. This is mainly because our club is self financing. We are not council backed like a lot of clubs and we do not have any sponsors. We rely on club membership fees and public donations to keep us running. This means that no-one dictates when we have to run and all decisions are made by our members.
We do pay a lot of detail to public safety which is why you must pay attention to any members instructions on running days such as "keep your feet on the boards" and "stay behind the yellow Lines".
At the moment we only have 2 places in the station area where you can get on or off the trains. These are where the wooden frames are situated. These are anti tipping devices with reduced clearance from the floor so that the passenger trucks do not tip up when you stand on them so if the driver tells you not to get off the train then please comply.
You will notice that the track has 4 rails on it. It is so configured in order to accommodate 3 sizes of engines. The outside tracks can take 7.1/4" gauge, the inside pair can take 3.1/2" gauge and rails 1 and 3 can take 5" gauge.
We have an electric lift accessible from the track via a turntable to make it easier to move larger engines into and out of vehicles.
We are a public limited company and are listed with Companies House where our details are there for all to see. We have 5 million pounds worth of insurance for public liability.

Our membership fees are not sufficient to cover our insurance and Grange rent so we supplement that income by doing portable track events, mainly at North Road Station (Head of Steam) and occasionally at Shildon (Locomotion).
All of our events are manned by volunteers who install and dismantle the track and run the event. Non of ... See more

2 years ago

We are running an electric train at North Road Station Museum at Darlington this Sunday (21st).They are having a "all the fun of the fair" event from 10 until 4.

2 years ago

We are running on Sunday with steam and electric trains from about 10 until 12.30 at The Grange Community Centre, Hurworth

2 years ago

We are having an open day today. We will not be giving rides but will have a larger than usual selection of engines on show as well as a small exhibition of our members other models.

2 years ago

We are holding an open day on Sunday 30th June. We will not be pulling passengers on this day at it is primarily intended for other model enthusiasts from different clubs to bring their engines and run them on our track. There will hopefully be a variety of different engines to view and we are also exhibiting our members other models as well. We can sometimes get quite busy on these occasions so the inside of the track will be strictly off limits due to safety issues unless invited in by one of our members. Ask a member for a closer look and we will try to accommodate you.
We are now in the process of building a small "garden railway" near our main track. Some of the support work has already been installed to elevate the track to a suitable working height. This will take quite some time to complete and the main track is being designed to be reasonably quickly assembled and removed to prevent any vandalism.
We are trying to entice into the club new members and a garden railway is a lot cheaper to buy than the models that we normally run.
Watch this space.

2 years ago

During the summer months, we reserve the 3rd Tuesday of the month as a club running day. This means that our members are aware (without checking) that usually more members will be at the track. (We have a rule that means at least 2 members need to be in attendance to run ).
This Tuesday we are extending our running day which normally finishes about 5 pm. We have asked the local cub scout group to come over to the track where we will briefly explain the principles of a steam engine and allow them free rides on our trains. We did something similar last year and it's looking like a regular event now.

2 years ago

We are steaming at North Road Station Museum (Head of Steam) this coming Sunday in conjunction with their Vintage Car Show. We will be on the field so we will be running both electric and steam trains 10 until 4.

2 years ago

We are steaming on Sunday at The grange community centre at Hurworth. We will be using both electric and steam trains and supporting the Classic Car Show at the same venue 10 until 4

2 years ago

Our club is 50 years old this year and we are planning some sort of event to mark this occasion. We have not decided what that should be but thoughts are around a combined open day for members from other clubs to bring their steam engines and a public running day with all monies taken going to charity. Watch this space.

We recently had a problem with our new electric engine and although it took Kevin some time to actually find the problem, it turned out to be a rather simple failure of a connector block so the engine is now back in service.

We are always on the lookout for new members so if anyone is interested then please pop down to the track on the first Sunday in any month or pop down to the basement of the Grange community centre at Hurworth on any Tuesday night from about 7pm.
We could do with a few younger members in the club so that our more experienced members can pass on their engineering and driving skills.
With the decline in engineering shops and factories in our area it appears that engineering apprentices are few and far between and it would be a shame to see these skills dry up completely.
Our club is a model engineering club and our members have made a multitude of table top and scale models ranging from clocks, traction engines, hot air engines etc through to complete scaled down, working steam engines.

It must be said that our main focus has been on steam engines because as a self financing club, we have to pay the bills and rent and insurance are quite expensive and running the steam engines at our home ground and at North Road and Shildon allows us a steady income to invest in the club.
All of our events are manned voluntarily and any money taken goes into the running of the club.
You don't need to have an engine to join or indeed any engineering background. We have a fully functioning workshop complete with lathes, shaper, milling machines, rollers etc. and our members will be only too happy to train you in the use of this machinery if you ... See more

2 years ago

This year is our 50th Anniversary of the club.
I can't give you any detailed information regarding the origins of the club but it seems that a very few like minded individuals got together and formed a model engineering club.
The club had very few members and no money and certainly no steam engines. At some point, it was decided that they would build a track to enable steam engines to be able to run around.
These model engines are quite big and basically too big to fit in a garden unless you have a lot of land.
The initial track and concrete and wood supports were begged, stolen, donated or bought by the original members and the track was built by them.
This was in the days when there were many engineering companies in the area and a lot of mechanical expertise was available.
The track was eventually built from mainly scrap material from discarded or demolished projects where the material was no longer required.
The track performed well for many years but the ageing materials started crumbling away so it was decided to renew the track. A few members had their own engines by this time and to keep the track running, it was decided to split the oval track in half and renew it into two separate sections to allow the other half of the track to keep operating although the engines then had to go half way round and then reverse. A mould was made for the concrete pillars and the members took their turn to turn up at the Grange and mix and pour concrete into the moulds to form the pillars. There are a lot of pillars on our track so this process took an age and the renewing of the track took over 2 years to complete.
What we have today is basically this track with a lot of improvements.

2 years ago

This year's events for our electric and steam trains

2 years ago

2 years ago

2 years ago

We are steaming on Sunday 2nd December on our home track at "The Grange Community Centre" at Hurworth from about 10am until 12.30. Hopefully we should be running the new electric train .

2 years ago

The Comsol solder appears to have been successful. The boiler has now had its first pressure test at 2 times working pressure and has passed this test. The cladding, new insulation and fittings have now been refitted and it is now ready for its next test at 1.1/2 working pressure to test the fittings. If this is O.K. then the engine will be rebuilt ready for a steam test. Watch this space.

2 years ago

The boiler manufacturer who made the boiler for "Lady Margaret" has declined to attempt a repair for the same reasons that we had anticipated i.e. it could cause leaks on the rest of the tubes and turn the whole thing into scrap.
Plan "B" is now about to be attempted. That is to get the tube as clean as possible using an acid bath and lightly grinding the joint then to use "Comsol" solder to repair it. Comsol has quite a high melting point (296) but not as high as silver solder (420+) therefore we may be able to repair the small weep on the one tube without disturbing anything else.
Watch this space.

2 years ago

As well as our monthly meeting last night, we also had a guest speaker. We regularly have guest speakers at this time of year and the subject of the talks is quite varied and often has no implication to model engineering.
Last night's talk was given by a Physics teacher/tutor and the subject matter was regarding his visits to the CERN Hadron Collider.
He has been there a few times for various activities with students and gathered a lot of information regarding this facility.
I don't intend to even try to explain the workings of this unit as anyone wanting this information can access the site to gain comprehensive information.
Suffice to say that he kept the physics and science to a minimum and delivered a fascinating talk.Only one of our members was close to nodding off but he usually does.
If anyone is interested in this subject and wants to book this lecturer for similar talks then leave me a message on here and I'll get back to you.

2 years ago

We had one of our regular monthly meetings last night. On the whole,the club has been running well and our bank balance is quite healthy. The only problem that we have at the moment is a hydraulic failure of one of our steam engines.
Anyone visiting our home ground at Hurworth over the coming weeks or months will notice that "Lady Margaret" will not be available.
This engine was due it's hydraulic test and when the test pressure reached one and a half times its working pressure, a weep was noticed from one of the boiler tubes.
We have a lot of experienced members in the club and a number of them have built their own boilers in the past and it's hard enough to silver solder all of the tubes into the end cover with brand new,clean copper. This boiler is now 9 years old and although we could probably do a decent job of cleaning and descaling the exterior of the offending tube, it is impossible to clean the inside surfaces and the heat required for silver soldering will possibly melt the internal crud and contaminate the joint. We also know from experience that the temperature required to try and repair one tube can have a knock on effect on the adjacent tubes so that you are chasing leaks.
Our decision therefore is to consult with the original manufacturers to see if they can repair and certify this boiler. If this is not possible then we may have to purchase a new unit, bearing in mind that nine years ago, this boiler cost £1500. Hopefully with new technology and techniques it won't come to that.
Watch this space.

2 years ago

We are running an electric engine at North Road Station Museum (Head of Steam) this Sunday 28th October at their Halloween event.

2 years ago

2 years ago

When you were a kid, did you ever want to drive a steam engine when you grew up?
Time and technology probably passed you by and your dream was never realised.
For most people, the dream will just be a dream but maybe we can bring a little bit of nostalgia into your life by allowing you todrive a model steam engine.
We are a model engineering society and our members build a lot more than just steam engines.such things as "pulse engines" "static engines" and even a working "Skeleton clock".
Hovever iy is fair to say that a good number of our members do build and run steam engines.
We are always looking for new members and you don't have to build anything to become involved.
We do have a comprehensive workshop with lathes, milling machines, shaper,pedestal drill etc and as part of "The southern federation" we are allowed our own "Boiler inspector" so if anyone is up for the challenge, then you could theoretically build your own engine on the club premises but it would take you a long time.
As a member,you could be trained up to initially drive our club electric engines and eventually our club steam engines. We are obviously looking for committed members who are willing to give up some of their free time to help us out on certain weekends with our portable track at certaib venues such as "North Road, Head of Steam" and "Shildon, Locomotion" museums.
If you are interested then pop down to The Grange on the first Sunday of every month or come down on any Tuesday night from 7pm in the basement of the Grange for a chat and a cuppa.

2 years ago

We are steaming this Sunday from about 10 until 12.30

2 years ago

We are steaming on Sunday at our home ground, "The Grange Community Centre" at Hurworth.