Saturday, 26 July 2014

Maintenance Update (Stanley, Ashley, clinker, Hymek)

Tuesday 22nd
I was stuck at home for the morning awaiting a CityLink delivery (that they had failed to deliver on Monday!).  However, after lunch I went for a bike ride and called in at Todders to slap a little more yellow on various bits of 45149.  On our report card there were two new issues:

[KH] 19: Left-hand driver axlebox oil pipe bracket loose.  Tried to tighten it but bolt seized.  [Well, it won't fall off, then, will it!]

[KH] 20: Fire keeps dying down right-hand side near knuckle.  May have leaking foundation ring rivet.  Needs investigating when cold.

There were several Stanley steam cars in Toddington car park today - not a planned event as far as I am aware.

Wednesday 23rd
Gil arrived first, and was tackling issue 20.  That is, with dust mask on, he was raking the ash through the fire bars into the ash pan.  David Moore offered to help, but finished up acting more as gopher, I think!  Nevertheless, between them, they cleared the grate of ash and removed a couple of firebars to expose the foundation ring and inspect the rivets.  Gil checked both sides (just in case) but could spot no problem.  Carpo was called in to check.  He found nothing, either.  Carpo (as Boiler Responsible Person) gave it a clean bill of health and told Gil to fit the bars back.  No further action to be taken.

Later in the day, when 2807 was pulled out of the shed and over a pit, Ashley emptied the ash pan.  :-)

Bruce appeared and decided to tackle the seized nut of issue 19.  This bracket has a countersunk screw head, which is a challenge to hold steady.  To make matters worse, the counter-weights on the driving wheel were totally covering the seized nut.  Bruce had previously made a suitable "screw driver" out of a length of flat metal bar for a similar task - now where did he put it?  Bruce and I searched round, checking likely drawers and shelves.  Well, no big problem, there was time to make another while waiting for the loco to be moved (to gain access to the nut).

I began to clean up some rail chairs, as the production line of boot scrapers was empty.  Bruce popped his head out of the TPO: "Found it.  It was in the screwdriver drawer".

It was a warm day (!) and inside an overall it was decidedly uncomfortable, so I discarded mine (but retained my shorts & T-shirt).  I got covered in grot from the chairs (a couple were a tad greased-up), necessitating a heavy wash cycle … whoops, they're still in the machine; I'll just go and hang them out …..

…. [back again] I only managed to clean 6 chairs.  Restocked F&W with 2 boot scrapers and the Coffee Pot with 3.

Re. issue 20, the consensus view is that it was more likely clinker blocking the fire bars and causing the fire to deaden!

Most of the remaining issues are boiler-related (hence can only be done by Carpo, or under his supervision).  None are serious, so these will wait until boiler wash-out time (that is, after 30 days' steaming).

A Hymek (D7017) arrived just as I was leaving.

Thursday 24th

I had to pop down to "borrow" my glue gun to do a job at home, so painted the six bottoms while I was there.  The Hymek was moving - I don't think I've ever seen one operating before.

Friday 25th
Diesel gala commenced.  I was crossing monitor at Winchcombe station.  It was wonderful there when there were no trains in the station - peaceful, quiet, birdies tweeting, sun shining, tea & cake from the Coffee Pot.  Finished reading my Steam magazine.


Monday, 21 July 2014

Maintenance Update (crosshead, whistles, slacking, clacks, siphon)

Sunday 13th
I passed by at teatime, and 2807 had just come off the last train.  So, I asked the driver [Steve B] if all was well.  He said yes, except that the left-hand crosshead was using a lot of oil and running warm.  I had a feel, but couldn't detect any temperature difference.

So, one new issue:
18 [SB]: Left-hand crosshead bottom slipper slightly warm and using lots of oil.

Tuesday 15th
You may recall that someone went overboard with the whistle during the Thomas event and broke its bracket.  GWR locos have two whistles, with different tones.  The higher-pitched (smaller) whistle is used to warn people - typically to warn that the loco is about to move; is entering a tunnel; is passing rolling stock where staff might be nearby out of sight; or approaching a crossing.  The lower-pitched (larger) whistle is rarely used, because it is an emergency whistle.  This might be used, for example, to tell the guard to apply his brake.

Anyway, David had taken the bracket home and decided to make a new one.  The original one appears to have had the pipe section soldered onto the retaining plate.  David has made a new steel plate plus two straps to clamp the pipe to the plate and brazed it together.  It takes two people to fit it, because it bolts to the cab roof, and someone (in this case it was me) has to climb up onto the roof and wield a spanner while the "fitter" does just that, in the cab.

Tuesday was the only day that David could make this week, so I met him at Todders.  After helping fit the guide plate and the chain, I did a spot of rail chair painting to while away some time.

Wednesday 16th
Bruce & Gil had a play with the loco.  In particular, the regulator handle is a bit loose on its shaft.  It can't come off, but the square end of the shaft and the square hole in the handle are not exactly a perfect match.  So, Bruce had made some small shims to try to wedge the handle firmly on its shaft.

Re issue 7 (Vacuum pump spindle out of alignment): Bruce has examined the clearances when the pump is at each end of its travel, and there is no fouling or rubbing.  We were aware that the spindle was not perfectly aligned, but it is within tolerance.  Anyway, to alter it is a major job of cutting, aligning & welding its supporting bracket (which also happens to be steps up to the running board).  No further action will be taken.

Re. issue 10 (clack valves leaking), this creates pressure in the pep pipe (aka slacking pipe - used for washing the coal dust down).  Again, we were aware of this.  Gil has found out that rather than a plain copper seal in the valve seat, there should be something called a "Taylor Ring" which is corrugated:

Meanwhile, I pressed on with boot scrapers, completing three and top-coating six.  I also  took 3 over to the Coffee Pot Café at Winchcombe station to replenish their stock.

Saturday 19th
Appalling weather.  Managed to finish off some more boot scrapers and paint some brushes for the next lot, but couldn't work outside, so gave up at lunchtime.  No one else could make it to Todders today.

Colin reports on the siphon restoration at Winchcombe:

"Went to help clean up siphon so it would be spick and span for the Supporters day.  Fred was on his own and the weather had turned into a monsoon.

The good thing is the roof is sound but as I ran the brush round to clean up I noticed water all over the floor in the middle of the coach. This was caused by a faulty piece of wood by the new cladding which was quickly filled in by Fred with some plastic padding and now seems dry.

We painted some of the inside as it was so wet outside.  About 12.30 it stopped raining so we rushed outside and put up a safety rail on the steps, as the existing rail  is on the wrong side now.

It looks good, not perfect but it will do the job.

I also cut off the planks on the steps platform so it was safe and looked right.  In between, 2807 stopped play as it came and went earning its keep.

It looks really great and sounds it as well.  The bits of the Siphon that are finished show how good it will look when we have completed it.  The roof just looks splendid.

All in all a good day with only two people and bad weather we did a lot, and  as I left a thunder storm started to build up  but I got home before it came;  I beat it up the Motorway I think."

Sunday 20th
2807 still running OK.  I did some painting on 45149 (red & yellow bits).  Didn't check for new issues.  2807 is not in use this week, nor 'til Monday 28th.  That gives us time to look at any outstanding issues that we can handle during the week.


Thursday, 10 July 2014

Maintenance Update (bootscrapers, safety valves, horn ties)

2807 has been stood down for a couple of days during this week, which meant that Bruce & I could do a couple of things today (Weds).

However, she is rostered for Fire & Drive on Friday plus service trains over the weekend.  This means that Saturday is cancelled again.   :-)

Sunday 6th
I nipped down to the two cafes to check stock levels, then restocked.  I did a bit of lettering on the rail chairs in the production line.  However, I am becoming concerned that the stock that I amassed early in the year has shrunk, and more help may well be appreciated on making boot scrapers!

Once I've got the painting bug, I'll slap a coat on anything …. (caught moonlighting again)

Woden's Day 9th
Bruce was sitting on top of 2807 when I arrived.  Issue 11 said that the safety valves were blowing off at 210 psi.  It didn't say which, or if one or both.  We presume it was the one that Bruce had to re-do the seat. Taking 10 thou off its seat meant that there was 10 thou more to the spring, which would explain why it blows off early.  So, Bruce was removing that valve's collar and the two spacers beneath it … except that he wasn't strong enough on his own!  So, I shinned up the ladder and applied force to the spanner while Bruce applied further persuasion to it.  That sorted it, and he was able to remove the spacers and take them to Carpo for him to shave 10 thou off each.  This done, Bruce was able to refit the spacers (on his own, this time).  Carpo approved it, and let's see what occurs.

Issue 16 said that "all tender horn ties were loose".  That was a bit of an exaggeration, because it was obvious from examination that most of their nuts had not moved nor been touched for eons!  Nevertheless, I went round them all applying mallet and spanner.  Only two agreed to be tightened further!  [Photo of horn tie & nuts = the bit across the bottom, beneath the axlebox]

There's a new issue, raised last Sunday: [AB] 17: "Tender brakes slow to release."  When 2807 has been in service for a couple of weeks and then one person finds a fault like this, it makes me wonder.  Bruce says that it did happen once last year.  We can speculate on what could cause such a thing to happen, but demonstrating & proving it is close to impossible.

During the afternoon, Bruce helped me clean up 6 rail chairs.  Much appreciated.

Saturday is cancelled, because 2807 is rostered to be in service.

Sunday is bus rally day, and we have a stall in the car park at Todders.  Stuart has been crying out for help. Even I have been roped in to help!

Next Wednesday will be on!  Not sure what doing - possibly rail chairs / boot scrapers, if 2807 is still in service.


Sunday, 6 July 2014

Maintenance Update (bootscrapers, issues, moonlighting)

2807 has been in service all week, so we have not been able to do anything on the loco.  As a result, Wednesday was cancelled.

Saturday was also cancelled because 2807 was in service still.  Also, I had two trainee pyros to teach the art of lighting up.  However, one backed out at the last moment, so I cancelled that Saturday activity, too!

Thursday 3rd July
I did a round of the cafes and discovered that the F&W had sold 6 boot scrapers and the Coffee Pot had sold 4.  So, I restocked them both.  Additionally, I had an order for two to be collected from my house on Friday.  That made a very useful income.  Which reminds me: 2807 performed on 8 days during June, which is the first earner of the year!

Saturday 5th
Despite today being cancelled, I decided that I needed to try to replenish some boot scraper stock.  I had attempted to fit brushes to an LNWR chair, and discovered that the brushes are so tight that the wooden wedge (that holds the brush in place) had to be no more than 10 mm at the blunt end.  I have to keep a range of sizes, from 10 mm to 15 mm, to cope with different styles of rail chair.  There were no 10 mm left. So, the day began with much sawing of wedges.  I produced a heap of 10 mm and 13 mm (which is the commonest, and hence had also run out).  Thereafter, I fitted brushes: 3 x LNWR (black); 4 x BR (crimson).

Gil & Fred popped in for lunch.  It's more comfortable in the TPO than in the siphon van at Winchcombe.  If you're lucky, we might be able to show you inside the TPO at Toddington at the end of the Supporters' Day (28/07/2014).  Then they buzzed off again.

That left 5 needing a top coat of GWR Deep Bronze Green.  Having then run out of things to do, I did a bit of "moonlighting".  I started painting bits of 45149.  Shame it's blue.  It's got bits of yellow, red & green on it now - that brightens it up !!!   :-))

Sunday 6th
I toddled around for various reasons: Winchcombe café had already sold 3 more boot scrapers.  A carefully timed visit saw 2807 pull in and then out.  Sounded great to me!  The cake was pretty scrummy, too.

The F&W had only sold one boot scraper, but I restocked both cafes.

I painted the lettering on the green chairs - actually, two were GWR 92s (not BR(W)).  Then I did a spot more on 45149, before adjourning via the mess coach to check the roster & issues list.  No locos rostered for next week yet!

Issues Listed

[--] 3: Condenser T-cock blowing by nut. {Fix not possible until loco is cold}.
[--] 4: Ejector is awkward to shut off.
[IW] 5: Ejector is blowing through.
[IW] 6: Brake whistle chain bracket broken. {David has taking this to braze or silver-solder}.
[IW] 7: Vac pump spindle out of alignment. {Examination did not identify any adverse effect, so my response would be "yes, it is.  So what?"!}
[MY] 10: Both clack valves passing (top feed delivery pipe always hot & pep pipe pressurized).  {Again, we were aware last year; couldn't do anything while she was at Tyseley, and can't do anything now until she's cold}.
[SN] 11: Safety valves blowing off at 210.
[KH] 13: RH injector steam feed pipe collar above flange blowing steam.
[JC] 14: Train pipe vac dropped on several occasions.  OK the rest of the day.  {This happened once before, and we could not repeat the symptom or identify the fault}
[SO] 15: Fizz from 2 rivets at bottom back left firebox.
[JW] 16: All tender horn ties loose.  Pulled up with spanner, but need slogging.

Monday is the only day that there is no loco in service, so potentially we could slog the horn ties (issue no.16) and refit the whistle bracket (assuming David has fixed it) (no.6), but she will still have 10 to 20 psi pressure, so nothing else could be fixed.  So, it's probably not worth it.