Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Hot off the Tyseley press .....

I have been told today that Tyseley will NOT have completed the work on 2807 by the end of this week.  In fact, they are HOPING to have completed by the end of NEXT week.

If they do get it finished by Friday 6 June, it will be the following week (e.g. Tuesday 10th June) before 2807 can return to Todders.

We hope to get an update next week to see how realistic their "next Friday" date is going to be.



Friday, 23 May 2014

Maintenance Update (boiler, boots and bikes)

Tuesday 20th
I thought I had better nip down & slap a top coat on the chairs.  Went by bike*.  Got christened on the way back.

Wednesday 21st
Just Bruce & myself today.  Bruce cleaned the last of the mud hole doors.  A couple of the nuts were a tad stubborn.  Then there is a small threaded hole on some of them.  You see, the doors fit on the inside of the boiler, so you poke them through the oval orifice then secure them with a bridge on the outside.  If you accidentally drop one, it will fall into the water space between inner and outer wrappers.  This can be a shade tricky to retrieve, so there's a loop of thin studding that can be screwed into the hole in the sticking-out bit that will prevent the door from falling inside.  Bruce is cleaning out one such hole in the photo.

I picked out the lettering on the chairs in gold.  Then I was alerted to a stash of rail chairs discovered by a chap who was strimming the lineside of the narrow gauge railway.  They were well hidden by nettles, but I managed to extricate them and heave them up to just behind the wood store.  When I've got my energy back, I'll move them to our pile.

Just before he buzzed off home, Bruce remembered that there are four ferrules from around plug holes that needed cleaning .. and what has happened to the replacement ones that Carpo perloined from us?  So, I decided to clean them … which only revealed rust … which I wire-brushed … and painted in Deproma.

Apart from that, Bruce & I sat down and drew up a list of what needs doing as soon as 2807 returns.

Thursday 22nd
I nipped down and cut some wedges for the boot scraper brushes, then wanged some brushes into the chairs (q.v.).

Friday 23rd
Preparations for the gala weekend:
-  the marquee hasn't arrived;
-  it's peeing down with rain
-  Tyseley won't be ready for the Thursday delivery

                                                                          ….  2807 now expected back Friday 30th.


* Last Sunday was my "big bike ride" - in aid of the British Heart Foundation. 40 miles around the north Cotswolds, starting & finishing at Cheltenham Race Course - handy, really, as Ben & I could catch the train to the start and back again afterwards!

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Maintenance Update (brakes, bootscrapers, plugs and doors)

Tuesday 13th
I popped down and did a bit more to boot scrapers for an hour or so.  A black 3850 arrived for the weekend gala.

Wednesday 14th
Bruce continued measuring the brake rods, and more specifically, the holes and pins that connect everything together.  He's produced a diagram of the dimensions, and it's clear that there's a touch of play on the holes.  However, we don't have time to rectify that at present.  It will have to wait until later in the year.

Mark Y [GWSR} took a look at our brake blocks and declared them fit for a further thousand miles or so.  Hence, we can simply fit them back on, without having to replace them and then somehow adjust the rods to suit the thicker blocks.

I finished off 7 boot scrapers and then re-stocked the two cafes.  I also cleaned a further 8 rail chairs, but (unusually) hadn't the energy to paint their bottoms.

John Rogers [P.Way] had spotted a rail chair with the railway company as "CLR" and wondered what that might be.  Without finding the chair again (it was somewhere in the pile at Winchcombe!) and checking the date and size of rail, it's hard to guess.  Possibly Central London railway, if the date fits.

Thursday 15th
I was all togged up ready for going for a bike ride, when a tin of Crimson Lake enamel paint was delivered!  The delivery was quoted as between Friday and Monday!  The delivery chap didn't bat an eyelid.  Maybe he often sees blokes wearing lycra shorts and day-glow yellow tops, who knows?!

Friday 16th
A Black Five arrived, pointing North.  In keeping with the current theme, I painted seven bottoms black.

Saturday 17th
I'd got stuck in to painting rail chairs when Bruce arrived.

Bruce cleaned out the split pin holes in the brake rigging and made split pins to suit (i.e. cut them to length).  We then both tackled the old brake shoes that initially we had thought needed replacing … but then found out they didn't!  I scraped muck & grease off, then Bruce washed them in diesel. We'd just finished, when …

Steve arrived.  The three of us moved all of the brake things into the shed, where the other pipework is.  Bruce's diagram of the left-hand brake rods and their holes plus the pins shows that the pins are slightly oval - not unexpected.  The pins are nominally 1.5 inches, and their holes should be 30 thou larger.  The two figures for each, shows the max & min diameters (in effect). Only one hole is 1/10th inch out, the rest are not bad, considering.

There was some discussion between us about the reassembly.  Bruce is concerned that there may not be someone present every day who properly understands what needs doing.  We also agreed that we would not replace the existing "Everlasting" blow-down valve with a GWR one at this stage, because of time constraints.  Bruce hypothesised that the adapter twixt it and the boiler might not be corroded, as the water there is treated; probably has little oxygen in it, and it is permanently under water anyway.  Carpo agreed that we could continue to run with the existing valve for now.  As Bruce said, the pipe leading away from the valve was corroded to buttery (I think that's what he said - a technical term, I expect) and that will be replace with copper pipe in due course.  We don't actually need to do a blow-down now that we have treated water.

We had just decided that it was a suitable point to go, having done everything we could think of, when Carpo (bless his cotton socks) pointed out that the wash-out plugs and mud-hole doors all need cleaning.  Of course, we were unaware of this, as he'd hidden them in the boiler store!  So, Steve disappeared to a meeting (after taking one of the photos!), while Bruce & I made a start on the 42 plugs and 8 doors.  Curiously, one plug I noted was numbered 47, so I hope we've not lost any!

Today's rumour (from John H): Tyseley were just fitting the final brasses when he was there.  This bodes well for the rods going on next week and general movement testing … so, 29th for a return is still looking good!


Sunday, 11 May 2014

Maintenance Update - two weeks to go? (siphon, brakes, Tyseley)

Fred reports (on siphon)
For those of you who were able to assist with the Siphon on Saturday last I would like to say a sincere thank you - I don't think I would have been up to the job.  We achieved a good deal between us on the day having stuck down the canvas over the whole length as well as re-panelling two awkward sections.  The photo is of Geof, David and John G on the covered roof, one of a number taken by Gilbert, note the steel cord connected to David who was also doing aerial ballet as an encore (he was trained on the day).

We now have to glue and tack down the edges which should be a bit more like a job for Gilbert and me.  However I think we will need someone on top again when it comes to the painting which will be ASAP and probably when I am on holiday. Not good organisation but we were requested to move on this by the C&W Dept who need the space. More pics will be available from me when I have enhanced them, my iPod didn't like the lighting conditions.

Woden's Day 7th
Bruce was totally focussed upon the loco brakes system.  Having laid out all of the rods (in order) and placed the correct brake block where it should be (as far as the bench would permit) he took measurements of every hole, connection and length.  No, they weren't identical!  In fact, I'm not sure any agreed with the drawing.  Bruce did find it useful having 2874 at the side, because the brake system is one of the things that the loco does have!

Last week, Bruce had spoken with Mark Y, who told him that brake blocks can be run down to an inch thick.  Our worst one is about 1.5 inches.  Therefore, it would seem sensible (and possible) to refit the old brake blocks on the loco (when it does finally return from Tyseley), rather than spend considerable time working out where the variances are located, why, and what should be done about it.  This work would be better done over winter, when we have the time to spend on it.  Now, we need to get the loco operational ASAP - no unnecessary messing about!

Gil came, though principally to meet Lynne at the F&W to discuss possible refreshments on the Supporters' Special (on 28th July - 28/07).  That sorted, he reviewed the options with Bruce and agreed a plan to refurbish brakes over winter.

Of course, not having expected to re-use these brake blocks, nobody has bothered cleaning them.  :-))

Meanwhile, I … well, you can guess what I was doing …  eight black bottoms.

Saturn's Day 10th
I needed Gil's autograph on cheques for 100 Club winners, so called in at Winchcombe.  He, Fred & Brian (!) were in the siphon.  The Coffee Pot CafĂ© had sold 3 b/scrapers.

Back at Todders, John G was wandering around looking for me.  He is wondering if anyone would like to see the 8mm cine film that he's got of the rescue of both the siphon & 2807.  Maybe we could show it in the Santa Grotto during our Supporters' Special Day (28 July - don't forget!).

On my tod, again, so just b/scraper painting today.

Assuming the "two weeks or so" is held, we have an extremely narrow window in which to get 2807 back, re-equipped, examined and steam tested.

The only date feasible to transport her back is Thursday 29th May.  Work will have to begin on Friday 30 May, and continue daily through to the following Wednesday (4 June).  The railway needs 2807 in service by 7 June because the 8F will be out of service.


Friday, 9 May 2014

Tyseley Update

An update from Tyseley, provided by David.

"They are making good progress.

The driving wheels are back in, the intermediates are due back shortly and they will then remove the rear wheels. They have the new longer castings and these have been machined. Our driving centres are not quite the correct drawing distance from the rear cylinder face. They are aware of our "slightly longer" connecting rod, but did a bump test of the piston against the front and rear covers to ensure that all is well.

Also on one of the intermediate axle boxes the thrust face white metal was barely attached and virtually fell off. This has now been put on properly. The good news is that they did not have to remove the step to grind the intermediate horns and the slide bars will not be a problem either. He thought the work could well be completed within two weeks or so "

Monday, 5 May 2014

Maintenance Update (bootscrapers, springs, brakes, cakes)

Tuesday 29th
F&W sold 6 boot scrapers, and Coffee pot sold 2, so I re-stocked both.

Speaking with Kevin (who was changing a spring on the 8F) it seems that it is not possible to obtain the correct grade of steel for making loco springs these days.  He said that it is the new springs that keep breaking; the old springs are fine.  The new springs keep going back for repair under warranty, apparently.  Seems to me that there's a wonderful opportunity for someone to start making loco springs with the right material - surely, there is enough demand in our heritage industry?

Wednesday 30th
Bruce & Geof were contemplating the loco brake linkage spacing.  The brake shoes on one side are relatively new, but on the other side they need replacing.  Newly cast brake blocks do not have the pivot hole drilled out (see photo).  You would expect that it is in a fixed and central position, wouldn't you?  Well, it should be!  But guess what …  The old blocks are well worn, but not equally so.  In fact, there's 1/4 inch difference.  This means that the closest block will touch the wheel, and the other will not (well, not immediately, anyway).  There is no adjustment on the linkages between the wheels, on our loco.  So, how can there be such a difference?  Surely they will all wear equally?  Unless … the linkages might not be the correct length.  They should match the wheel centres, of course, but suppose they don't?

Bruce & Geof got all of the linkages out of the shed and laid them down to measure.  Could they identify the problem?  See photo!  They decided that they couldn't measure accurately enough without having the loco there.  You see, if the brake hangers are not all suspended at exactly the same distance relative to the axle centres,  then the brakes would hang differently, which could account for the difference.

It was Mike W's birthday, so he brought us some cakes for pud.  Very kind.  Geof went home for lunch, so missed out, initially!  Bruce & I did our best, but there were just too many!  So, Mike said to take some over to Fred & Gil at Winchcombe (which I did, later).

While they were all playing with brake linkages and debating if anything could be done, I pressed on with boot scrapers.  P.Way arrived with a fresh pile.  They were working just round the corner, so brought round some BR(W) and GWR chairs for me!

A visitor asked what I was doing, and when I explained, he commented that the Forest of Dean Railway sell boot scrapers for £35, or £30 without the brush!  Now, remind me who it was that used to work in our group, but migrated to the Forest when 2807's restoration was complete ….

Saturday 3rd
Just me, today.  That is to say, Steve popped in for lunch, but as I had decided to go home after lunch, there was not a lot he could do.  It was too nice a day to spend it all boot scrapering.  I just painted a couple of chairs and a couple of dozen brushes; had a natter with Steve and then buzzed off home and got the bike out for a spin.

P.Way were working nearby, again, and donated a dozen more chairs - mainly GWR ones.

Still no news about when 2807 will be ready to collect from Tyseley.