Drilling Down

Some years ago, the Moseley Railway Trust built a replica of a Penrhyn Quarryman’s Coach. The vehicle has had a few public outings – at the Alan Keef Ltd open days, and on a temporary line at the Hayfield Sheepdog Trials. However, the vehicle has needed a fair bit of work to make it ready for front line operation on the Apedale Valley Light Railway. Probably one of the trickiest operations has been the inserting of tie rods into the underframe. These were deemed necessary to provide additional strength to the underframe. Obtaining 12′ long steel bars, threaded each end, proved to be challenging in its own right – not many people have lathes that big, and steel bar comes in standard lengths of 3 metres. Fortunately, our friends at the Hunslet Steam Company at Statfold came up with the goods. It was then simply a question on making a series of closely aligned holes through the vehicle underframe, taking care to miss the air brake pipes and other minor details. What could be simpler? Nuclear Fusion, for a start. Fortunately, we were able to call on the World’s Largest Electric Drill, needing a crew of three to operate safely. We borrowed it from BP who said that they “weren’t planning on drilling anywhere for a while”. The job isn’t finished yet, but we have got a method for doing it now, and another day should see the vehicle back in business and read for service on the Apedale Valley Light Railway. Get in touch here.