Sunday, 23 October 2016

Cutting out the failed tube

[see main story below]

The failed tube had to be removed in short sections at the smokebox end.  Each section was about 4 to 6 inches long.  The first section was pushed through by pushing from the firebox end.  This piece was cut off, and the next section pushed through.  This piece was cut off ...........

This photo gives an idea of where the failed tube is.  Two superheater elements have been removed to give better access.  The failed tube is at the top - you can see where water ran down the tubeplate during testing.

These photos show Carpo in the cramped condition of the smokebox, cutting sections off the tube.

The tube had to be cut into more than 30 sections to get it out.

Many thanks to everybody involved.


Maintenance Update (bung, spray, flawed, exam)

Thursday 20th
The tube arrived …
Bruce had asked: How’s it getting here?’ “Not on his car’s roof rack”, said I … but guess what?
I wish I’d had my camera with me !!!
Update from Brian: “Had a call from NYMR, Loco is being picked up this morning could not give an ETA for GWSR.”

Friday 21st
Loco arrived at Toddington at 07.10 (according to Alex). Bruce & I arrived at 09.30. It was a misty day - couldn’t see the hills. Note the empty car park!

We got ourselves ready, and then Carpo and Bruce tested the theory of getting “Skinny” (the new tube) under the regulator header, through the tube plate, and along the barrel without meeting something on the way.

There’s just about enough flexibility in Skinny to be able to pull it down at the firebox end.

But it does look as though a small amount will have to be ground off the bottom of the regulator header, or possibly a deliberate bend in Skinny to get it to slip between the obstacles?

Before Carpo shunted 2807 into the yard, I noticed what seems to be a shim out of place. This is under the top RHS slide bar. It is not obvious what has happened here. Why has it slid out, and why is it bent downwards?

Carpo took a sample of boiler water for analysis. Bruce & I tackled the smokebox. We removed the spark arrester, and then we could see the full layout within 2807. It looks as though Skinny will pass below the petticoat OK, though at least one of the superheater elements will have to come out to make space.

You can (just) see the bung in the end of the errant tube. Before attempting to remove the bung, Bruce & Carpo demolished the brick arch. Ironic, quoth Carpo, as the arch had survived NYMR perfectly well, despite the alleged issue of it beginning to collapse before it went up there!

Meanwhile, I cleaned out the ash from the smokebox - there was half a dustbin full in there! We then tackled the bungs. Bruce & Carpo were in the firebox undoing the nut on the end. I was in the smokebox watching the nut at that end. My nut wasn’t for turning! Bruce unscrewed rather a lot, and also tapped the rod through, but still my end wouldn’t turn and the bung clung on doggedly. Bruce & I decided to abandon this for today.

The tender had arrived at 11.10, so Carpo and Bruce shunted that into the yard and we coupled up loco and tender. We were a little concerned that the linkages had (once again) suffered at the hands of the uninitiated, though not as badly as last time it went to NYMR. We shall have to construct a template for guiding the three links into their respective holes!

Carpo pressed on during the afternoon, and reported: “This afternoon I removed the bung in the firebox before removing two elements to allow me to remove the bung in the smokebox. I was then able to remove the remains of the tie rods before cleaning out the tube with our drain cleaning pressure washer.

This means that tomorrow we should be able to put 20psi of air over the water and be able to ascertain the whereabouts of the leak. We shall then be able to sit down for a cup of tea and decide the next step!”

Saturday 22nd
A whole host of people turned up to help, today: Brian, Bruce, Gilbert, John T, Steve and myself; plus Phil and Stu from the Loco Dept supported Carpo (who, once again, spent the day inside the smokebox)!

The smokebox had a couple of inches of water in it, but this was probably due to Carpo cleaning out the tubes yesterday before removing the superheater tubes. John baled it out, I believe. As per plan (above), Carpo removed an inspection plug to fit an air hose adapter … except that it was too big! So, a smaller one had to be made: take one plug; drill a hole through it; tap a thread in it, fit air hose connector. However, Carpo inspected the innards and declared that there is no sign of boiler mismanagement - it all looks fine inside there.

Once the air line was attached, pressure was built up to about 20 psi whereupon the spray from the hole in the tube was clearly seen. It was about 6ft in from the firebox end, at a “4 o’clock” angle. So, the next step was to drain the boiler and remove the tube. One of the bungs had already had to be cut out, and now Carpo had to carefully cut the tube at the firebox end; heat and ease the smokebox end. Then Bruce knocked up a rod to help push the tube out, with Phil doing so from within the firebox.

The tube had to come out 6” at a time, because there is not enough room behind & beneath the regulator header to push any more through. It can’t go the other way because the tube widens, and will not pass through the narrower tube hole in the throat plate in the firebox.

Carpo will speak with the boiler inspector on Monday. He will probably want to see the flawed tube and discuss the method of replacing the tube. All being well, we shall be able to fit Skinny, and then have the annual boiler exam during November. Assuming it all goes well, we will then join in on the Santa Specials … keeping a close eye on the other tubes!

In spare moments, John managed to needle-gun a couple of rail chairs, while I finished off the four boot scrapers in the production line and then re-stocked the cafes at Todders and Winchcombe.


Thursday, 20 October 2016

Maintenance Update (chuck, tube, valve, header)

Saturday 15th
Re. the leaking tube: Remember the tubes being sponsored, back in 2009? The question has been asked: whose tube is it? Well, it is tube number 5, but I won’t say who sponsored it in case they feel morally obliged to buy a replacement! But if they do …

Carpo has phoned another friend (actually, the boiler expert from Riley’s came here by luck & fortune) and has decided that we shall definitely remove the offending tube and replace it with a narrower one. It will be a challenge getting the old one out and the new one in, but if we don’t try …
Carpo promptly ordered the new tube, and it will be delivered on Thursday.

Bruce tested the new dustpan and brush.

He’d bought a new chuck for the pillar drill (because the old one was no longer going round in circles) and so he fitted that.

During the morning Bruce also painted the bottoms of the four rail chairs in the boot scraper production line:

The paint dried in the sunshine, and I applied a green primer coat to them during the afternoon. In the morning I was making wooden wedges that hold the brush in place on boot scrapers.

We decided to point 2807 northwards when she returns, not because she will be missing Yorkshire, but because she has been facing south for over two years. It might even out any wear that happens over time.

When the new narrow tube arrives, Carpo plans to test out the feasibility of fitting it without removing the regulator header, by trialling it on 2874. If it works, then that’s what we do on 2807. If it doesn’t work? Then Plan B will be required!

Sunday 16th
Andy Bryne was up North keeping an eye on 2807, and will watch over her while they pack her up to
come home. He sent the following photos:

2807 at Levisham
Grosmont viewed from 2807’s cab
2807 at Grosmont

NYMR staff in wartime dress

Andy also reported:
“The NYMR should provide us with any snag list but one thing that didn't work yesterday was the
steam heat mason's valve; it rotated but nothing happened apparently.”

Ah, well it wouldn’t! You can turn the top of the valve to your heart’s content, but unless you turn the steam on, nothing will happen!

The wheel on the top of the Mason’s valve adjusts the drop in pressure from boiler level (225 psi) down to coach level (typically 40 to 60 psi).

You do need to open the steam valve first! Normally, you don’t dare touch the Mason’s valve - they have a reputation … Ah, well, we’ll sort it out when she’s back.

Wednesday 19th
I popped in to Winchcombe first, to get signatures on 100 Club winners’ cheques.

Fred, Bill and Ray were working on the siphon. Ray had spotted an apparently loose board, and was removing it as I was there. He discovered that the two screws in the bottom of the wood were not doing a lot … one had gone into a gap, and the other into some wood that was decayed!

Over at Toddington, Gil, Bruce and John G were generally deciding what to do. The electrics in the yard are being upgraded, which meant we had no power down by the van or for the compressor. The latter meant that rail chair needle-gunning could not take place; the former meant finding a socket that did have power so that we could have a cup of tea!

Gil and John went over to Winchcombe, where they could be doing something useful on the siphon restoration.

I applied a top coat to the four chairs in the production line.

There was some discussion about how to proceed when 2807 returns on Thursday, but there can be no simple plan. There are a number of steps to carry out, and depending on the results, what the next step will be can only then be determined.

If the trial fit of the slimmer tube in 2874 works (i.e. we can get it in successfully) then we shall move towards doing it on 2807. If we can’t get the new tube in, then there are three options: (i) leave the plugs in 2807 and run to end of year to see if more tubes blow; (ii) grind a small piece off the bottom of the regulator header if that will be sufficient to get the new tube in; (iii) take the regulator header off completely!

Options (ii) and (iii) mean getting the errant tube out, before which we can hydraulically pressurise the boiler and inspect the tube to see where, and how much water is leaking. Then it has to come out: option (ii) a bit at a time because of space limitation; option (iii) possibly in one piece.

Then things depend upon what we find by inspecting (a) the errant tube; and (b) the other tubes. If the leak appears to be a one-off caused by some intrusion in the metal, we fit the slim tube. If there is any other visible cause for concern, then it could be we replace the lot - do a 10-year overhaul of the boiler, in fact. Indeed, if at the end of it all, another tube does decide to blow in service, then the whole set of tubes has to be considered suspect anyway, and full replacement will follow.

2807 was due back on Thursday. “Slim”, the new tube, is also due to arrive on Thursday. However, this from Andy Bryne this evening:

“I was informed by the NYMR P-Way staff that the low loaders would not be arriving until tomorrow (Thursday) although everything was ready for loading at the NYMR end. So I guess 2807 may not be back at the GWSR until Friday. “

I’ll keep you posted with progress. Meanwhile, keep your fingers crossed!


Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Maintenance Update (tube, leak, header, petticoat)

Wednesday 5th
Bad news from Yorkshire: A boiler tube sprang a leak and 2807 was declared failed.

But then a fix was thought of: bung up each end of the tube with a tapered plug, and run a bar through end-to-end such that the plugs are firmly wedged in, and held together. The update from Brian on Monday went like this:

“Further update from NYMR is the fix looks fine this morning and the loco is cooling after the test yesterday and still has 20lbs on the clock at 9am.

The plan is not to use the loco until the NYMR War Event 14/15/16 Oct.”

So, what went wrong, and is this the start of a trend? Well, we don’t yet know. Much discussion took place at Todders on Weds and subsequently by email. Broadly, the decision was taken to let 2807 carry on with the holey tube plugged until either: another tube goes, or January arrives.

If another tube does go (before January) then she will be stopped, taken out of service and …

If she runs until January with no further tube problem, then …

… we’ll take the errant tube out and investigate what might have been the cause. The other tubes will be inspected (as far as is possible through the inspection and mud hole doors). The action then depends upon the recommendation from GWSR’s Boiler Responsible Person (i.e. Carpo). We might just replace the one tube; or we might end up taking 2807 out of service and replacing all tubes. In fact, if it came to the latter, it would in effect become the 10-year overhaul of the boiler.

Anyway, at Todders on Wednesday, there was only Bruce and myself. We spent some time discussing the options with Carpo. Apart from that, we changed a 13 amp plug on the compressor for a blue 16 amp plug because the compressor is now in a cabinet outside (as opposed to being inside the 20ft container). We considered how to improve the hinges on the cabinet door. I painted lettering on the boot scrapers in the production line. Then we went home.

Friday 7th
I nipped down to Todders to fit brushes to the boot scrapers. We then have some ready to re-stock the cafes on Sunday.

Carpo had been concerned that the tube that has gone is in the most awkward of positions - top centre, behind the regulator header. To replace it would mean removing most of the innards of the smokebox! But the he came up with a cunning plan:

“I have undertaken some research into my idea by exercising the 'phone a friend' option. …

In normal GWR practice a 2" tube is swaged down at the firebox end so that it will fit the 1 13/16" hole in the copper tubeplate. The tube is fed in from the smokebox end and then expanded with suitable tube expanders at both ends. We cannot do this in this instance unless onerously we remove the regulator header.

My idea was to obtain a 1 13/16" tube (which is therefore the right size for the firebox end) which when fed into the 2" hole in the smokebox tubeplate should allow us enough wriggle room to feed the tube in without having to remove the regulator header. Once in position there should be enough room to get a suitable expander in to expand the tube at both ends. If we can do it then this will be much the preferred option from safety point of view rather than continuing to run with bungs. I would suggest that once the engine has returned from NYMR we should undertake this work without delay as we are talking about 2 or 3 days work to accomplish the task and then the engine can run on the Santa's to see what happens next (hopefully nothing!).

Finally I must point out that if having removed the leaking tube we find upon inspection, for whatever reason, the game is up we will still have to take the boiler out of service for overhaul.”

Photo from NYMR showing the leak from inside the firebox

Wednesday 12th
Bruce and John G are discussed how on earth you get the tube in/out without having to remove the regulator header.

The tube is not able to be withdrawn - it does not quite clear the bottom of the header.

Carpo’s plan is to pull it out as far as it will come and then cut the end off; repeat until all is out!

A close eye will be needed to find the leak, and assess what the cause was, without cutting through the leak point.

Bruce arrived first (or maybe John T did?), and was soon ear holed by Nigel BH. Someone had questioned his electrical installation in our container. Nigel was not amused. He confirmed that the installation complies 100% with all appropriate standards, and that none of the equipment that we use in the container requires a 16 amp (blue) plug.

John G and I arrived, and we discussed the difficulty of extracting the duff boiler tube. We really don’t want to take out everything in the smokebox. The following photo (from 2010) shows the superheater and the regulator header in position (but note that there is no chimney, petticoat, etc., etc. at this stage of 2807’s rebuild).

So, at least one superheater tube will have to be removed, anyway!

John G decided that he’d be more productive at Winchcombe, working on the siphon van restoration.

John T had already got stuck in to needle-gunning rail chairs.

Bruce had bought a quality adjustable spanner, which led me to slap a smidgeon of yellow paint on this and the spanners from 2807’s toolbox (just to identify them as ours).

At various points, we all joined in the rail chair preparations, though only cleaned five by end of play.

Bruce, however, decided that it was time to fix the handle on the pillar drill so that it pointed to the correct picture. Turning the lever downwards has always caused the drill to rotate clockwise (the right direction for drilling holes!), but in this position it pointed to the diagram of the drill rotating anti-clockwise (backwards). So, he took the lever and switch apart; fiddled with it; managed to rotate the switch, and reassembled it. The lever now goes upwards to drill holes!


Thursday, 22 September 2016

Maintenance Update (welder, plant, Grosmont, Pickering)

Wednesday 21st
With 2807 in Yorkshire, you might think that there was very little to do at Toddington.

However, boot scraper production has to continue! John G spent the entire day painting rail chairs and brushes for them. The only positive thing you can say about the boot scraper production facility (i.e. a 20ft shipping container) is that it’s dry!

In fairness, we did let him out on a couple of occasions.

Bruce and I decided that needle-gunning just outside the contained was not good. The noise bounces off the loco shed, the diesel shed and the row of containers, making it very unpleasant as a work area. Furthermore, Joe Public might be standing just round the corner, trying to read the display boards that give information about some of the locos.

We hit on the idea of throwing away an ancient welder and using its cabinet to house the compressor. We had used it in the distant past, but more modern equipment has really rendered this 3-phase device obsolete. Guess where it is [was]? Just outside the TPO! This is where our boot scraper production used to take place, and the noise is kept well away from other workers and the public.

So, we heaved the old transformer out and wheeled it down to the skip. JC was passing by with the fork-lift, and kindly deposited the transformer in the skip. Bruce & I played with the cabinet; made a level base for it; tipped it over (to suit the shape of the compressor), and then (with assistance from John G on one of his outings from the container) moved the compressor from container to cabinet.

A test showed that it worked fine, there. It’s not perfect - you have to fling the mains cable across between a couple of wagons to reach the power source, which is shared with two more containers! The door opens upwards and its hinges are pretty pathetic! These really need replacing with more substantial ones. Nevertheless, it works!

Andy Bryne visited on Saturday 17th. He reports:
“I was privileged to represent CSP today on the NYMR with a footplate pass all day on 2807. We were first off as the S160 was needing a bit of attention, much to the relief of my crew who much prefer 2807 it seems! A great day and the weather was good too. Lots of attention from visitors/passengers ands also from NYMR staff. I did my best to keep the loco tidy and clean with an oily rag. All being well I'll be going next Wednesday too and hopefully will be available to assist when 2807 is packed up ready to come home. Getting sufficient vacuum took a little time early on today but then seemed OK on the 2nd run. I was impressed with the NYMR's coaling plant. “

Coaling stage at Grosmont and 2807 at Grosmont - photos from Andy Bryne.

John Plowman emailed on Saturday 17th to say: “watched her leaving Grosmont on the 1130 to Pickering this morning, she looked and sounded wonderful, I know that Beth (the driver) had been looking forward to her arrival.”

John T has been glued to the webcam, which caused him concern at times:

Re. Monday: “Consternation in the Tyler household yesterday! 2807 only did the first run out of
Pickering and apparently then stayed at Grosmont. Tuesday, she's rostered for the last service back
from Grosmont, with "if available" and an alternate diesel listed. Perhaps routine work? She looked
OK on the webcam.”

Tuesday: “Panic over!
2807 has done, or will do, 3 runs today. It started as the 13.30 from Grosmont, did the 15.00 from
Pickering and is booked for the 17.15 return from Grosmont.
Having the webcam, running schedule and timetable leads to anxiety when changes are made! The
timetable has been changed since this morning to allow for 2807 back in service. Hooray!”


Sunday, 18 September 2016

Maintenance Update (Pickering, siphon, Grosmont, chairs)

Tuesday 13th
Brian and Carpo confirmed that 2807 did head north. The Allely’s lorry arrived about 15 mins after Bruce & I left. All was loaded and on its way by 2.25 pm.

Photo: Nigel Black [P-Way]

Photo: Neil Carr
Bruce says: “Both low loaders left at about 2.25pm. They looked quite impressive in convoy.”

From NYMR Facebook: “Here she is on her way through Pickering - thanks to Kelvin Whitwell of
[NYMR] Motive Power department for the photos!”

Wednesday 14th
At Toddington, there was not a lot to do. Bruce, John G and I fiddled around a bit. John did most -
painting five rail chairs. Due to the heat, we all adjourned at lunch time.

John G went to Winchcombe to help Gil, Fred and Ray on the siphon work.

Brian confirmed by email, that 2807 was “put together” and a Fitness-To-Run check was carried out
successfully. A warming fire was lit with a view to steaming her on Thursday. She was then off to 
Grosmont for further checks, coaling and watering. NYMR asked to put her into service right away for one week.

Thursday 15th
Bruce reported, “She is rostered for two round trips starting and finishing at Pickering so it looks like
she will be stabled at Newbridge.

Interestingly they have put 6046 (USA S160) behind her for the first trip, probably for insurance.”

Saturday 17th
David & Bruce fiddled with the pillar drill, in particular making the platform stable. Another 5 minute job that took all morning! John T repaired the “Panther” trolley whose plywood top was disintegrating.

After lunch, John & I worked on cleaning up rail chairs - we prepared five by end of play. Because of the noise that we were making, Bruce & David disappeared down the yard and started tidying up the bits of scrap that had accumulated around the TPO over the years that we had been working there.

It is not ideal using a needle gun in close proximity to the car park (and hence visitors), but unless we have a base down in the yard (i.e. to replace the TPO) with power and room for the compressor, there is not a lot of choice.

Gilbert, apparently, has abandoned home and headed north for a few days. Can’t imagine why …


Monday, 12 September 2016

Maintenance Update (grease, barn, NYMR, tender)

Monday 5th
I spent a couple of hours in the Container applying primer coat to rail chairs: 3 red; 3 black and 5 green. Hunting for a 1946 chair at Winchcombe (for an order), I discovered two from December 1946, plus a January 1947; and two GNR chairs from 1913!

Wednesday 7th
John G arrived earlier than usual because he had to leave early. He was in the thick of applying enamel paint to my Monday’s work. By the time he had to leave, he had enamelled all 11 chairs plus a couple of black bottoms. I continued with cleaning up rail chairs, but only managed five today.

A couple of weeks ago, Bruce had discovered tell-tale signs of (red) grease having been applied to the piston valve front lubrication points. The lubrication feeds the front end of the valve rods, which we had previously found are subject to wear. So, the lubrication idea was ours. However, there is hot steam inside the valves, and ordinary oil or grease may break down under the temperature and pressure; so steam oil should be used. Someone (presumably a driver when oiling up one morning) had spotted the nipples and assume grease should be applied. So, I made some little stickers to remind drivers that steam oil should be used!

Bruce began the day by fixing up our new washing facility. The hosepipe and tap (formerly used inside the TPO) has been rigged up outside of the van that we are camping in, to save a walk down the track to the nearest standpipe. Anyway, the water out of said standpipe comes out a worrying shade of brown!

Most of the day, Bruce (aided by Gilbert) was preparing 2807 for her journey North. They disconnected the hoses between loco and tender, and then took the pins out of two of the three linkages between loco and tender. To do this necessitates lifting the cab floor; reaching into the dark abyss beneath it; and grasping for something long, round, thin and heavy.

We were asked to drain most of the water out of the tender, but to leave water in the boiler. When 2807 is off-loaded at NYMR, she needs to have a fire lit and steam raised, to be able to move under her own steam up to Grosmont. The facilities at the loading point do not include the ability to load coal, and I’m not sure what the watering facilities are like, either.

As we had expected to demonstrate a steaming test here last week, coal had been loaded and water topped up. Bruce rigged up a pallet across the tender to prevent coal from escaping during the climb onto/off the lorry.

Ray popped in to say “Hello”. He and Bill had spent the day working on the last set of louvers on the siphon. Over time, they have had nails driven in (who knows what for!) which were extracted. The wood was then sanded and prepared for painting. The siphon has been returned to its usual place in the siding at Winchcombe, but as soon as a slot is available, it will go back into the “barn” (Carriage & Wagon) for the second bogey to be inspected, cleaned up and painted. Ray said that the first bogey looks really smart!

Thursday 8th
I spent a couple of hours at Todders painting the lettering on boot scrapers. The lighting in the container is not good; difficult to pick out the embossed lettering & dates. Also, dust had made a mess of the paint job on one rail chair. Not overly happy about the situation.

Saturday 10th
Report from John T:
“Gil, Brian & John T were making the final preparations for 2807 to be loaded for transport to NYMR, including providing lamps, and removing fixing nuts from the pony truck pivot cover (policeman's helmet). Aide S. [Loco Dept] wrapped up and placed in the cab the refractory bricks of the final 3 rows of the brick arch (being sent just in case). Alex & Ian (Steam Dept) were doing a good job on the final cleaning of the loco.

Later, Brian & John cut 10 pieces of spare lighting-up timber to repair the large Panther. The Panther was in fairly constant use, so that they were unable to replace the damaged plywood with these new planks.

John primed 3 railchairs and painted 2 bottoms.

The engine was shunted onto the loading line, awaiting final uncoupling and moving to the car park for Monday morning loading on to transport, hopefully avoiding the new rail delivery scheduled for Monday afternoon.”

Monday 12th
I arrived at Todders at 9 am, expecting to see a hive of activity … no, I was the first one there! I had planned to finish the current boot scrapers off ready to restock the shops, so I was able to get on with that. Carpo arrived, equally surprised at the lack of activity. He fired up the diesel shunter and rolled loco and tender into the car park.

Bruce came, too. Three surprised people! Bruce (and also Danny [Loco Dept]) assisted in shunting the loco out and splitting loco and tender.

Rather than do nothing, Bruce cleaned coal dust off the tender, where it falls down between loco and tender and collects amid a certain amount of grime, largely out of sight … except when the loco and tender are split.

We had a cup of tea. Neil Carr contacted Allely’s. They were just setting off … at half past eleven! As it was my two-year old grandson’s birthday, I had not planned on staying for long anyway, so at 12.00 Bruce and I signed off!

Bruce cleaned off a barrow full of slack and bucket full of lumps!

There are three links that connect loco to tender. The centre one is the main one, and there are one either side of this.

The last time 2807 went to NYMR, someone up there didn’t get the link lined up in the hole. It is possible to get the link to sit to the side of the hole through which the pin drops. Then the link is not effective, but worse: when the loco takes a curve, the link jams between frame and pin, and bends!

We have a potential solution, but have had no time to implement it.

Outstanding Issues. 2807 went North with the following unresolved reported issues:
15: Tender rear RH brake grease nipple loose. {The thread has “gone” - winter maintenance job}
31: J cocks stuck {Don’t know which J cocks this refers to, so have ignored it for now}
34: Balance weights rivets loose on LH driver, LH trailing driver, RH driving wheel. {Deferred to winter maintenance; not in danger of flying off!}
37: Tender brakes dragging rear two axles. {New brake blocks wearing in; No adjustment on individual axles}
41: Top valve on gauge frame blowing. {We are not allowed to fix this - only the Boiler Responsible Person can [authorise someone to] do it.}

Lonesome tender! Awaiting arrival of Allely’s


Sunday, 4 September 2016

Maintenance Update (spark, felt, panther, moss)

The following from Brian (after I’d sent last week’s update):
“With the Loco due to travel to the NYMR in September we have to fit the various spark arresters, 1 on the smoke box and three attached to the ash pan. Brian G volunteered to fit them and set to work transporting them to the loco, Dave S offered to help and this was gratefully accepted. The Smoke box arrester had not been fitted for a while so the was some cleaning that had to be done to the fixing brackets, also the jumper ring had not been cleaned for a while so this was dealt with also. The jumper ring cannot be accessed once the arrester is fitted. Cleaning completed, the arrester was fitted with little issue, additionally the three ash pan arresters were fitted with no issues in readiness for the move north.

Brian G then went to Winchcombe at the request of Gil K to help Fred L with the removal and cleaning of the Siphon G underkeeps. Brian G arrived to find that they had all been removed, and set about cleaning them with Fred. By the end of the day, two of the 8 still needed cleaning and will need to be put back on the axles on Wednesday.”

Wednesday 31st
Because of the need for a mechanical test on Friday and a test run on Saturday, David came in today to weld up the ‘flap’ on the top of the oil reservoir. It was a bit tricky, but he managed it. Then David had to dash off. Bruce tidied it up and slapped some paint on. Later, he filled the reservoir with oil. Whereas previously it took about two tablespoons full to fill it (i.e. 30 ml), now it took something like 200 ml. We’re all feeling a bit happier about that!

After lunch, Bruce replaced a felt pad in the RHS piston rod lubricator. The felt appears to have more-or-less disintegrated!

Gil popped in briefly before adjourning to Winchcombe to work on the siphon van bogies. John G
went to Winchcombe, too, where he, Gil, Fred & Bill pressed on with cleaning, assembling and oiling
the axleboxes on one bogey. The siphon body was then lowered onto its bogies and shunted out
into the yard. The second bogey will have to wait for a free slot in C&W; it has been shot-blasted,
plus the axleboxes have been inspected, so it may just be a case of applying bitumen paint.

Saturday 3rd September
See what a fantastic welding job David did, and Bruce’s paintwork is immaculate! You can even
see the oil …

… and today the oil level had dropped by an inch or so, as one would expect - as it very slowly filters through the felt pad.

Today was “bitty”. For example, Bruce fitted a bolt on the tender - he discovered that it was missing just as we left on Wednesday.

He and I later dismantled the remaining table from the TPO and stowed it inside the van. Gilbert (and Bruce) had the loco weighed on the new scales. The results were compared against those obtained by Gil & Jamie. Hmm. Interesting! After lunch, Gil fixed an issue whereby one of the taps on the hydrostatic lubricator was leaking and needed a fresh seal.

John T and I spent most of the day preparing rail chairs, as the boot scraper stock level is still zero.
The trolley had a puncture, which (with my cycling expertise) I was ideally suited to fix. Incidentally,
there are two trolleys, formerly known as Panther One and Panther Two. This is Panther One
(though the writing is almost illegible). In addition to its name, it also says “Return to …” and the
destination is no longer legible. Does any reader know the history behind these trolleys?

As the day drew to a close, Bruce slapped black paint all over the bottoms of the rail chairs that John
& I had cleaned. Rain failed to stop play, because John moved inside the loco shed to continue wirebrushing the chairs.

Some new rails had been delivered for the Broadway Extension. You know what flat-bottom rails
look like, so here’s a photo of the brake van attached to the flat wagons:

This is the guard’s front garden. As you can see, it is tastefully sown with a cascade of moss, contrasting beautifully with the brown of the naturalised wooden finish on the brake van.

Over here we have the back garden which centres on a sycamore that provides height, with a balanced arrangement of shrubs to the left and right. The old tail lamp injects an element of interest, as does the telltale compound palmate leaf of the cannabis plant growing behind it. (not really)

NYMR chap came & went on Thursday - “Plan C” meant no test steaming today!