News

Stop Press - In addition to Hawk operating at Railfest 2012 at the National Railway Museum in York between the 2nd and 10th June 2012 Fox is now confirmed to be visiting the Romney Hythe & Dymchurch Railway for their gala weekend on the 26th & 27th May 2012.

April 2012 - Badger has received a new smokebox as part of her ongoing work. The new smokebox is fabricated from much thicker gauge steel which will give it a longer life but also add some additonal adhesive weight to the front of the loco.

March 2012 - Overgrowth clearance has been a major activity over the past weeks with the banking side to the North of of the railway above Skelmanthorpe being cleared as far as Strike Lane Bridge.

January 2012 - Badger is currently in the works, her boiler has been sent away for a new firebox to be fitted. Whilst she is out of service her bottom end has received some attention. The bottom half will unfortunately look different once she is released back into service.

Also in the works is the railways Tram locomotive which is receiving a new Kubota engine and hydraulic drive.

Elsewhere work has commenced on clearing the area to the West of Skelmanthorpe Station in preparation for the passing loop to be extended to accomodate longer trains.

September 2011 - Gala preparations are going well, this year the Shelley Shuttle will feature a Garden Train as the visiting locomotives have all previously appeared at Garden Festivals. To see more details of this train why not visit Karens Blogspot

February 5th 2011 - Owls 10 year overhaul is progressing well. Thanks to the use of water treatment for most of the locos life the boiler is in excellent condition and re-tubing has not been necessary. Some new bushes are being installed to allow the injector feeds and regulator arrangement to be altered. Work on the bottom end has also been carried out to reduce wear and alter the lubrication arrangements. When completed the loco is to be outshopped in Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway Black Livery.

January 3rd 2011 - Happy New Year to all our visitors. After a period of no updates due to an computer glitch we are pleased to confirm that the web site is now being updated once again.

Apr 30th 2009 - The Friends have been saddened to learn of the death of the railways founder Brian Taylor.

Jan 7th 2009 - Fox is to be withdrawn from service this weekend for a full boiler retube. Whilst the locomotive is out of service the opportunity will be taken to replace her regulator valve which should result in further improvement to her performance.

July 5th 2008- Hawk has returned to revenue earning service although there are still a number of minor jobs to be completed.

May 17th 2008- Hawks overhaul is now nearly completed, just some small pipework is left to complete and the electrics. The boiler inspector is due to undertake the live steam test on Monday.

Mar 1st 2008- Owl is to visit the Cleethorpes Coast Light Railway for their May Day Weekend Gala Event. In addition to normal running at the gala she will also be operating the Night Owl service with Cleethorpes resident Number 24.

Jan 19th 2008- Hawk's overhaul is well underway, the cab, bunker, and boiler were removed last week. The main frame has been removed and the new one prepared for fitting. Cick here to see a photo.

Dec 15th 2007- Hawk's new main frame is currently being erected in the workshops. The structure has been tacked together in preparation for final welding.

Dec 1st 2007- Platform 2 at Shelley saw its first trains today. With a two train Santa service running at near capacity, trains departed Shelley following the arrival of the previous train. So for the first time in the lines history two passenger trains stood next to each other at Shelley. Badger worked trains into platform 1 and Fox worked trains into platform 2. Cick here to see a photo.

Dec 1st 2007- Jay has been taken out of service after her Ford 4D engine expired. The railway is to replace the engine wito a brand new one, the make of which is yet to be decided but the shortlist includes John Deere and Kubota.

Dec 1st 2007- Both of the railways new carriages are now in service. Santa trains have been operating with one in each of the two 5 coach sets.

Nov 14th 2007- The new platform at Shelley has been completed, all that is left before it is brought into use is to change the current weighted point lever for a lever worked one so that it can be set into either platform.

Nov 24th 2007- The semaphore signal at the end of Clayton West platform 1 was removed today and the foundation cast for the new colour light signal.

Oct 27th 2007- Work on the construction of the second platform at Shelley Station is due to start on Monday.

Oct 27th 2007- Work is progressing on improving the main platform at Skelmanthorpe Station, this will be followed by extending the platform and the loop to allow longer trains to pass here.

Sept 18th 2007- This years gala event was a great success, why not click here to see what happened.

July 21st 2007- Badger is to visit the Cleethorpes Coast Light Railway for their gala weekend over the 8th & 9th September 2007. She will be returned to the railway in time for her to feature in our gala weekend being held the following weekend on the 15th & 16th September. Click here to see further details.

July 14th 2007- Preparations for this years gala are progressing well with all the visiting locomotives now being confirmed. Click here to see further details.

July 14th 2007- The railway is purchasing a standard gauge TPO and Mark 2 carriage. Lengths of bullhead rail have been laid near to the station building for them to stand on. The TPO is expected to arrive during the forthcoming work and is to be used to display the history of these vehicles. The Mark 2 is to be used for school visits and birthday parties.

June 9th 2007- Work is progressing on the first of the new design of carriage. The main frame and superstructure have now been completed and the coach is partially glazed. The body has been painted but awaits the fitting of doors.

May 6th 2007- Both of the railways articulated locomotives have been in use this weekend but on different railways. While Owl hauled trains at Clayton West Hawk has been operating on the Cleethorpes Coast Light Railway for their gala weekend. Click here to see some photo's of Hawk's visit.

May 5th 2007- The main frame of the railways first new design carriage has been completed and work is now turning to the construction of the seats and erection of the body.

May 2nd 2007- Hawk travelled to the Cleethorpes Coast Light Railway today in readiness for its appearance at their gala weekend on 5th, 6th & 7th May 2007.

Apr 26th 2007- The railways first open coach conversion entered traffic ovee the easter weekend.

Apr 26th 2007- Installation of a public address system in the railways carriages is progressing well with one six car set already having been completed.

Mar 26th 2007- The railway has taken the decision to roof over its open coaches on the grounds of both health & safety and to provide a more flexible fleet of carriages. Due to typical Yorkshire weather the coaches saw very little use other than in the height of summer. The frame for new design of carriage is also well underway in the railways workshops whilst the wooden body panels have been manufactured at the railways parent company Stately Albion in South Wales. The panels are due for delivery within the next week or so.

Mar 26th 2007- Work to level the area behind the turntable at Shelley has been completed.

Mar 11th 2007- The railway has recenty received acceptance from HMRI for a new design of carriage. The first new carriage is now under construction in the workshops and it is hoped that it will be completed around easter time. The new coaches will be slightly longer than the existing ones providing more room in each compartment, a slight bow in the coach sides will also allow extra elbow room and the non opening windows will be double glazed as the current coach windows tend to steam up when the heating is on.

Mar 11th 2007- Work is nearly completed on the replacement of the flexible steam pipes in Hawk's front bogie. The loco is set to visit the Cleethorpes Coast Light Railways May Day Bank Holiday gala weekend.

Feb 3rd 2007- Work is progressing to improve the lines existing carriages. Over the last year seating cushions have been added to all the lines closed coaches. These are now also being fitted out with insulation and timber lining the roofs. Provision is being made for the future installation of a public announcement system and LED lighting above each compartment.

Dec 11th 06- In conjunction with a conference on 'Developments in Modern Steam Traction for railways' Fox was placed on display, in light steam, outside the National Railway Museum in York.

Dec 9th 2006- Fox travelled to the National Railway Museum today and will be on display outside on Monday 11th December 2006 before returning to Clayton West.

Sept 18th 2006- The railways first ever gala weekend was held over the 16th and 17th and proved to be a great success, with plenty of people and plenty of trains for them to catch! Click here to see more details.

Sept 15th 2006- A lot of work has taken place over the last week preparing the warehouse to take the exhibitions for the gala weekend. All the railways locomotives were also cleaned and lit up in prepaparation.

Sept 9th 2006- The railways second well wagon has been completed, using the body from an old pit wagon but utilising new braked bogies. The wagon will be in use at the railways gala weekend.

Aug 19th 2006- Work on Owl's crossheads has been completed and the loco re-entered traffic on the 14th.

June 25th 2006- The Railway will be closed from the 26th to 28th June for maintenance work.

June 3rd 2006- The Friends are to plan an Enthusiasts Gala to be held on September 16th & 17

May 30th 2006- There are now five holiday show homes on site and these are to be officically opened to the public on the weekend of 3rd/4th June 2006.

May 20th 2006- Fox is currently away from the railway at a leisure exhibition at Stoneleigh Park as part of the Stately Albion area.

March 27th 2006- The first two holiday homes and the new play equipment has now arrived on site. The two holiday homes are in situ and the play equipment is in the process of being installed. In addition to the work to complete the water column the engine shed is also being rewired.

March 27th 2006- The railway is to operate a ground level 7 1/4" gauge miniature railway at Meadowhall shopping centre for two weeks over the Easter school holidays.

March 4th 2006- Work on the holiday homes and water column continues. All the bases are now complete with tarmac pathways linking them together. Turf has also been installed around the bases and pathways. The first two holiday homes are expected to have arrived by next weekend. A new outdooe play area is also being constructed and the new play equipment is due for delivery this week. The mound that the miniature railway runs around has also been levelled off to accomodate picnic tables. The walling of the water tower is also largely completed with the construction of the roof left to complete.

March 18th 2006- Track work continues a pace with sleeper replacement now being nearly complete on the 1st quarter of a mile. Works are also underway to relevel and line the track. Tree removal around the main A636 girder bridge is also now nearly complete.

March 18th 2006- Work on Hawks front bogie is now completed and it has been refitted to the loco. The back bogie has now been removed, frame strengthening works are complete and the wheels are having new axles fitted.

March 4th 2006- Work on the holiday homes and water column continues. The concrete bases are now in place and a new perimeter fence is being constructed. The top of the mound in the middle of the miniature railway has also been levelled to allow brand new childrens play equipment to be installed. Click here to see some photo's of the progress.

March 4th 2006- Work is nearing completion on Hawks front bogie, this can then be re-fitted and the back one removed to undergo the same works.

February 25th 2006- Modifications are being made to the communication cord arrangement in the railways carriages. This comprises the replacement of the valve arrangement which is essentially a bung that is pulled out by the cord being replaced with off the shelf valves. The added benefits include the use of off the shelf components, easier operation and it being obvious in which carriage the cord has been pulled by the position of the valve.

February 25th 2006- New developments are currently underway at Clayton West, the railways new owners also own the Stately Albion luxuary holiday home business and six examples are to be on show on site from Easter. Currently a new roadway is being built between the car park and the engine shed area and the bases for some of the homes are already in place. The area of land being used to display the homes has never previously been utilised by the railway. The contractors are also completing the walling around the water tower adjacent to the engine shed.

February 25th 2006- Work is progressing on Hawk which has been taking out of action for mechanical attention. Work so far has concentrated on the front bogie which has been removed from underneath the main frame. Both axles are being replaced, one is completed and the second is ready to have the wheels pressed back on. Strengthening to the bogie frames has also been added to prevent the slight flexing which had been occuring. Once completed the back bogie will have the work undertaken.

February 25th 2006- Work continues to replace life expired sleepers with activity now concentrating around the 1/4 mile post.

February 11th 2006- Work today concentrated on replacing life expired sleepers around the girder bridge over the A636.

February 4th 2006- Work on Owl is nearing completion, the loco has been re-assembled and hauled the 16:00 train consisting of 3 coaches and Badger. The outstanding work consists of back up air brake arrangements as with the dog clutch now removed the loco can only fill the air reservoir whilst moving. Following completion of running in which is likely to be in the form of double headers until the air raising issue has been resolved it is hoped to settle Owl into more regular usage. The latest round of work has involved beefing up the drive arrangements, incerasing the size of the bogie pivot pins, provision of steam heating equipment and making the cab more enclosed for winter use.

February 4th 2006- A large colourful mural has been painted on the inside of the end wall in the station building making it a lot more interesting for the kids.

February 4th 2006- During the past week new guttering has been fitted to the warehouse building which houses the railways workshops.

February 4th 2006- Work is taking place to complete the installation of the fences adjacent to the A636 road bridge.

January 21st 2006- Tree pruning around the main A636 road bridge have been taking place in readiness for the installation of fences on the approach and exit of the bridge.

January 7th 2006- Work on Owls front bogie is now completed. The coal bunker and rear water tank have been lifted off to allow the rear bogie to be removed.

January 5th 2006- The locomotive mileages for last year have been confirmed as follows:-

Fox - 4,431 miles accumulated over 131days running. Badger - 2,191 accumulated over 79 days running. Hawk - 1,250 miles accumulated over 48 days running and Owl - 154 miles accumulated over 9 days running.

The difference between the mileages of Fox and Badger is due to Badgers ten year overhaul which kept it out of service for the first 5 months of the year.

January 2nd 2006- The New Year party went succesfuly with two days of running. Fox, Badger and Hawk hauled the trains over the 2 days with the 3pm departure from Clayton West today comprising of six coaches being hauled by Fox, Badger and Hawk with Jay bringing up the rear. The final train of the day, an unscheduled service, at 4pm was hauled by Fox and Badger at dusk and returned in the darkness. This is possibly the first time a train has worked the full length of the line in the dark and provided a good test for the lights which are normally only used in the tunnel.

January 1st 2006- Today is the first day of our New Year Party and visitors are invited to look at the new owners plans for the development of the railway which are being shown in the station. The proposals include the provision of new outdoor play equipment on a railway theme, extension of the second floor of the station building to provide space for the new cafe and a model railway. The Hurds also own the Stately Albion company which manufactures leisure homes. Click here to visit the Stately Albion Web Site.

January 1st 2006- Today the railway has passed into new ownership and the friends would like to extend a warm welcome to our new owners the Hurd family and to Graham Hurd who has taken over as manager.

December 17th 2005- The sale of the railway is near to completion and a celebration has been planned "A NEW YEAR PARTY" to be held over January 1st & 2nd which will see all available locomotives in operation.

December 17th 2005- Whilst the trains services are only operating to Cuckoo's Nest our annual programme of tree clearing in the cutting is ongoing. Work is concentrating on the area between Strike Lane Bridge and the footpath bridge which cross the line between Skelmanthorpe and the tunnel.

December 17th 2005- Work continues on Owl with the front bogie having being removed to allow the pivot pin to be replaced.

December 3rd 2005- Due to a vandal attack on Santa's Grotto trains had to run the full length of the line to Shelley and back, passengers met Santa in the station at Clayton West on their return. The grotto should be re-opened on Sunday 4th December following repairs undertaken today.

November 12th 2005- Only Fox is available for traffic this weekend as the other locomotives have been prepared for the visit of the boiler inspector on Monday.

November 12th 2005- The winter maintenance programme has continued unabated with 3 more sleepers being installed during the mid week. Work today concentrated on clearing overgrowth and trees along the lineside in the Blacker Wood area. The views in this area have been closed off by the vegetation over the last few years.

November 12th 2005- Progress on Owl continues with steam heating now having been installed, this is required the removal of the front running board, handle and lamp. The bogies still require removal to allow the pivot pins to be examined and the brakes adjusted.

November 5th 2005- The volunteers have commenced with the winter maintenance programme of re-sleepering and vegetation clearance. 7No. sleepers were replaced and reballasted in one day setting a stiff benchmark. To undertake this work the ballast surrounding the sleeper has to be removed and cleaned before the new sleeper can be installed and the rails fastened back. The clean ballast is then replaced and the sleeper tamped (we have no machines and it all has to be done by hand including the tamping which is done with a big iron bar!) Why not come along and give us a hand? its much cheaper than a gym!! Click here to see photographs.

November 5th 2005- New side panels have been fitted to Owl's cab to provide drivers with more protection in the winter.

October 22nd 2005- A new point handle has been built for the Shelley end of the passing loop at Cuckoo's Nest. The lever is similar to the one fitted at Skelmanthorpe and can be thrown over to allow acces into either side of the loop unlike the current weighted arrangement. The new lever also contains a locking mechanism and this will allow the turnout to be locked one way and left in use rather than having to be secured out of use. The new lever will be installed during the mid week in time for operation at the Halloween trains.

August 27th 2005- Owl is currently being worked on in the workshops. The old drive arrangement including the dog clutch has been removed. The loco is to be rebuilt without the clutch which will necesitate the construction of an air pump. Once work is completed on the main engine the two bogies will be removed for attention. It is planned to fit steam heating pipes and provide additional panels in the cab side to protect the drivers from adverse weather so that the loco can be used all year round. It is hoped to have the loco back in service in time for the Santa Special trains in December.

August 27th 2005- Vegetation clearance works are currently being concentrated in the cutting at the Shelley end of Shelley Woodhouse Tunnel. This is involving the removal of small saplings which have sprung up since the cutting was originally cleared.

July 25th 2005- Following our last Days out with Thomas event of the year Owl is to partially stripped down to allow stronger drive chains to be fitted.

July 16th 2005- Owl has had dampers fitted to its front bogie, they previously saw life on a Vaxhaul Cavalier! The clutch arrangement has been re-aligned, movement on the drive shaft was causing it not to properly engage.

July 2nd 2005- Recent work has been concentrated on keeping the lineside overgrowth back and track maintenance as a result of the warm weather. It is hoped that with all the locomotives now out of the workshop the second set of metal engine shed doors canbe completed.

June 4th 2005- Badger has re-entered service.

May 29th 2005- Following the boilers hydraulic inspection of Badgers boiler the locomotive has been re-assembled. The only remaining work before she can re-enter traffic is to set the valves and have the in steam boiler inspection.

May 29th 2005- Following the boilers hydraulic inspection of Badgers boiler the locomotive has been re-assembled. The only remaining work before she can re-enter traffic is to set the valves and have the in steam boiler inspection.

May 5th 2005- All the tubes have been welded into the boiler, once it has been inspected by our boiler inspection work can commence on re-assembly. The inside radius of the saddle tank has also been increased to allow more room for a more substantial fastening between the boiler and smokebox and also to provide more insulation around the boiler. This will save heat and stop the water from warming up in the tank.

April 28th 2005- Work on Badgers boiler has started this week with the 21.5"x10" section of the barrel being removed and new part welded into place. The tubes have also arrived at the railway and it is hoped that welding them in will start tomorrow. All the work on Badgers valve gear has now been completed.

April 23rd 2005- Work on Badgers boiler has again been delayed, the tubes have arrived but work is yet to start fitting them. This has provided the opportunity to further improve the valve gear with the introduction of a swinging link on the valve rod to rey and reduce wear on the valve gland.

April 16th 2005- Work on Badgers boiler has been delayed the tubes have arrived but work is yet to start fitting them. The valve gear is now completed, the reverser has been transferred to the left hand side of the cab and the brake lever has been changed to make it work in the same way as the one fitted to Fox.

March 9th 2005- Badgers new boiler tubes are expected to be delivered and welded into the boiler this week. The work also requires a 21.5" x 10" section of the barrel to be removed and replaced adjacent to the front tube plate. It is hoped to have the loco reassembled and dressed as Percy for the Days out with Thomas weekend on 23/24th April but it is unlikely that the boiler will be passed by this date so she is likely to pose outside the shed at Clayton West.

April 9th 2005- Work is progressing well on Badgers Marshall valve gear.

March 9th 2005- New boiler tubes have been ordered from Germany for Badger and whilst the railway awaits delivery modifications to the loco's valve gear continue to change it from Hackworth to Marshall.

March 9th 2005- Fox is now running with two water gauges following the completion of the new protectors. She has also been fitted with a larger blast nozzle and steam chest insulation as the valve modifications seem to have made a marked improvement.

March 9th 2005- Ian Screeton the railways operations and engineering manager has provided the following information on the railways boiler treatment. "The 'Porta' inensive carbonate water treatment that we are now using was developed by Argentinian engineer L.D. Porta from the French TIA (Treatement Integral Armand) system utilising the proven effect of high concentrations of Sodium carbonate (Na2CO3) preventing corrosion and scaling.
The Sodium carbonate and other components of the treatment compound produces a very mobile sludge that does not settle out in the boiler but is maintained in suspension, this mixture of suspended solids and total dissolved solids (TDS) is an essential part of the process to prevent scaling of the boiler surfaces. The treatment can cope with a wide range of feedwaters without any corrections being required, a quantity of the compound being added each time the loco is watered.
As a consequence of the need to build up levels of TDS in the boiler regular blowing down is almost totally eliminated, saving time, water and energy. The layer of foam created over the surface of the boiling water also prevents droplets of water being entrained with the rising steam so producing a much purer, drier steam with minimum carryover of abrasive salts thereby reducing wear and significantly improving lubrication. This later affect is most noticeable as a marked improvement in the lubrication aspect of the piston rods.
One added fringe benefit of the treatment is the prevention of corrosion in steel water tanks as immediately evidenced with the tanks on Hawk.

February 26th 2005- New gauge glass fittings have been obtained for Fox, additional hollow stays that were installed in the boiler during recent work will now allow her to have two gauge glasses fitted for the first time. Work is well underway to build new gauge glass protectors to allow the new fittings to be installed.

February 26th 2005- All the tubes have now been removed from Badgers boiler, work is underway to manufacture the new valve gear parts to convert the loco to Marshall valve gear.

February 19th 2005- Work on Badgers boiler continues with just four tubes left to remove before the new tubes can be installed.

February 12th 2005- Badger has had her boiler lifted in preparation for retubing. Six tubes were removed on the 9th and six more today. Badger is also to receive modifications to her valve gear including a change from Hackworth to Marshall valve gear and the introduction of a new joint and guide for the valve spindle to try and reduce wear on the valves.

February 12th 2005- With its rebuild complete Fox has re-entered revenue earning service. The loco has been fitted with an enlarged cab and bunker (both 4" higher) and the side tanks have also been raised. New enlarged valve chests have been fitted and the lubrication of all remaining plain bearings modified. The pony truck now also has a single grease nipple feeding all surfaces. Click here to see a photo of the rebuilt Fox

February 5th 2005- The operation of the railways cafe has been taken back in house and the cafe has now reopened. The railway apologises for any inconvenience to passengers during the changeover.

January 29th 2005- Fox made its first moves around Clayton West following rebuilding.

January 16th 2005- Due to the increase in boiler work that the railway is having to undertake it has been decided to use a boiler treatment developed by Porta in an attempt to prolong the life of the loco's boilers.

January 16th 2005- Today was Badgers last day in service due to the expiry of her boiler certificate. The boiler is to be removed and retubed. Other work on the loco while the boiler is away is likely to be minimal as Owl also needs attention before the summer season.

January 15th 2005- The railways boiler inspector is to visit the railway on Tuesday to undertake a steam test on Fox's boiler. Only fitting of the valves and new link to the mechanical lubricator remain before she re-enters traffic.

December 27th 2004- The loco milages for the year have been calculated and are as follows (in order):-

Badger spent 126 days in service covering 4,206 miles

Fox spent 60 days in service covering 1,939 miles

Hawk spent 58 days in service covering 1,556 miles

Owl spent 9 days in service covering 234 miles.

Normally Fox and Badger cover the peak service and the figures would be very similar, however Fox was withdrawn early in the year for replacement of a number of stays and was then withdrawn again at the end of the year for approx 3 months for the remaining stays to be replaced following further problems. As detailed below during this time work has also been undertaken to replace her valve chests and enlarge her cab.

Hawks mileage is relatively high as it is used on all the railways footplate experience courses.

The railway also kept a log of how many coaches were in the formation each operating day and the number of carriage miles behind each loco has been calculated, these are as follows:-

Badger 14,452 carriage miles

Fox 6,566 carraige miles

Hawk 6,580 carriage miles (2,705 of these miles were empty stock on footplate experience courses)

Owl 1,183 carriage miles

December 27th 2004- The lease with the operators of the cafe and shop at Clayton West has not been renewed at the choice of the railway. Unfortunately the cafe will be closed until further notice whilst the re-organisation takes place.

December 24th 2004- It is hoped to have Fox back in traffic early in January as Badger's boiler ticket expires on the 15th January 2005 and she will require retubing.

December 24th 2004- Repairs to Fox's firebox have been completed and the boiler lifted into the frames. During the works two new hollow stays have been fitted, this will allow the main steam outlet to be relocated outside the cab as on Badger and free up the existing fittings to eventually take a second water gauge. The loco's cab has been raised by four inches during the recent work and the side tanks are currently being refitted. A central oiling reservoir has been provided to lubricate the majority of plain bearings in the motion work. Click here to see an update on Fox

December 11th 2004- During the 3 mile possession provided by the Santa Specials work has been ongoing to clear overgrowth from the cutting to the East of Shelley Woodhouse Tunnel.

November 27th 2004- The old stays have been removed from Fox's firebox and countersunk ready for the new stays to be welded in.

November 6th 2004- Work has commenced to realign the track into the turntable at Shelley. This is involving lifting the track on two roads by approximately two inches and then running off into the existing levels through the loop. Cant has also been applied to the platform line as it turns onto the turntable.

November 6th 2004- Fox has had her mechanical lubricator relocated a few inchs further forward to allow for the new enlarged valve chests. Splashers have also been fabricated for the inside of the frames. It is hoped to eventually use these splashers to strengthen the loco's handbrake system. Fox has also been fitted with the coupling rods formerly fitted to Badger.

November 6th 2004- An imposing new wall has been constructed as part of a new building development on the old spoil heaps adjacent to Skelmanthorpe station.

October 16th 2004- Fox has had her new valve chests fitted.

October 9th 2004- Fox's rear pony truck has been provided with a new greasing system with a central manifold allowing grease to be applied through one grease nipple.

September 25th 2004- Fox has been stripped down in preparation for replacement of the remaining original stays, it is hoped to make some improvements to the loco while she is out of traffic, including the fitting of the new valve chests.

September 4th 2004- Fox has been taken out of service and moved into the workshops following the discovery of another leaking stay. She will be returned to traffic following replacement of the remaining original stays, hopefully in time for the Santa Specials and to relieve Badger in early 2005 when she is withdrawn for retubing.

August 21st 2004- The new valve chests for Fox are nearing completion. It is hoped to fit them whilst the loco is out of traffic at the end of summer for further investigation into the condition of its firebox stays.

August 21st 2004- In conjunction with many weeks of overgrowth clearance the railway ran its weedkilling train.

July 28th 2004- Fox re-entered traffic over the Thomas the tank engine weekend, it was kept in light steam at Clayton West on Saturday but had to deputise for Badger (Percy) on Sunday afternoon due to problems with her suspension. Badger had been in continuous steam and operated every day for the previous 22 days.

July 24th 2004- Due to the unknown condition of the remaining stays in Fox's firebox it has been decided to lift the boiler at the end of the summer season for further investigation. Badgers boiler will be lifted in January 2005 as it is due to be retubed.

July 24th 2004- Owl re entered service at the Thomas weekend following the replacement of the primary drive chain and piston rod/crosshead pins plus the main drive flange bolts.

July 22nd 2004- The work undertaken by Israel Newtons was as follows, two firebox tubeplate stays, bottom row, had the original welds ground out and were re welded. One small crack was found radiating upwards as was corrosion progressing from the water side. The problems are likely to have arisen due to the original design not making any provision for washing out across the front of the firebox, although was remedied in 1999. The lack of any water treatment throughout the loco's working life is also likely to have been a contributing factor.

July 10th 2004- Israel Newtons and the boiler inspector are due at the railway on 15th July to repair Fox's firebox.

July 3rd 2004- The railway has recovered a Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway crossing sign that was discovered adjacent to Dawsons Crossing. The sign is in reasonable condition and is to be cleaned and painted.

July 3rd 2004- Fox is currently out of action pending repair work to the firebox. After finding a leaking stay it was discovered that there was some small cracking in the area surrounding the stay. It is hoped to get the area welded and the loco back in action before the July Thomas weekend.

May 22nd 2004- Badger has been fitted with new slide valves and has been reassembled ready for a test run over the next week.

May 22nd 2004- Further work has taken place to keep the lineside vegetation down with work taking place over the last week between Clayton West and Cuckoos Nest.

May 15th 2004- The railways annual battle against nature has started in earnest with one side of the line cleared from Clayton West to just above Skelmanthorpe.

February 28th 2004- The railway has now filled the post of General Manager.

February 7th 2004- Owl has had a new design of firebox door fitted to make firing easier and enable better adjustment of the secondary air vent. The loco is scheduled to be tested in the near future as it has only run once since the end of the summer season.

February 7th 2004- Badgers motion work and driving wheelsets have been removed for new bearings to be fitted. The wheels driving wheels will also require retyring, especially the leading pair which sustain additional wear with the loco being an 0-6-4.

January 24th 2004- Weekend work has been concentrating on clearing the cutting sides of trees around Strike Lane Bridge. It is now anticipated that work will concentrate on clearing some areas above Cuckoo's Nest and to maintaining the track.

January 24th 2004- Jay has had air sanders fitted, these are operated from a pedal in the cab

January 24th 2004- Work on Owl is now complete and Hawk has been fitted with sanders, although these are still to be tested.