The engineering workshops of the SdR are located on the banks of the lake between Horseshoe Cove and the steamer pier at Low End, and are known as Low End Works.
The workshops are responsible for building new 2 foot gauge locomotives and rolling stock for the railway and also for maintenance and repair of all rail vehicles.
- Click here to see a video showing the Works in full swing with battery electric mining locomotives under construction
Design and Pattern Making
Since 2014 all new carriages and wagons for the railway have been specified to SdR requirements and designed and built at Low End Works. This policy has now been extended to future locomotive construction, although certain parts will still need to be supplied by external manufacturers.
The design process involves the making of full-size 3D drawings (patterns) out of card or wood and these are then folded and stapled together in order that a mock-up of the proposed vehicle can be achieved.
From there an iterative process of modifications is employed to ensure that the finalised patterns can be used for fabricating work pieces. The completed patterns are then superimposed onto the appropriate build materials, often 1mm sheet steel, zinc or tinplate and from there the parts can be made.
The patterns are then stored for future use in order to produce more production parts and vehicles if and when required.
Frames, bodywork, roofs and buffer beams are manufactured and assembled in the Erecting Shop. This workshop is equipped with specialist hand tools, power tools, drills, soldering irons, pop rivets, G clamps etc and work benches.
The works is not equipped to make boilers, cylinders, motors and electrical control gear so these components are bought in from certain specialist suppliers.
The paint shop is in a separate location on the works site and provides a cleaner environment than that of the Erecting Shop, so that painting and finishing of vehicles can be done without contamination from dust and oil.
Construction materials for coach and wagon frames, bodywork, interiors, glazing and roofing are wherever possible obtained from recycling and reusing scrap. Local fly-tipping often provides a rich source of usable timber and steel which can be made good use of for the SdR at minimum expense.
However the Procurement department also has a budget to purchase components and materials from specialist suppliers of such items as paints, wheels, buffers and electrical equipment. Our suppliers include:
- IP Engineering
- Brandbright Ltd
- Phoenix Precision Paints
- 4D Model Shop
- Dream Steam
- Macc Model Engineers Supplies Ltd
- Roundhouse Engineering Ltd
- Essel Engineering
- Forest Classics
Future building programme
The current project for Low End Works is the design and building of a new flameproof battery-electric mining locomotive which will provide cover for No.5 JACKIE when this locomotive is out of service.
The new loco will be chain-driven and the frames and electrical equipment have already been delivered from Essel Engineering Ltd. She will be No.6 and provisionally named DOROTHEA [Callum].