Saturday, 30 December 2017

Maintenance Update (snow, skating, castor, winter)

Llangollen Report
Robert Bettley-Smith posted these on the Unofficial Llangollen Railway Facebook Group: “Santa Specials are getting ready for their day: Friday 22 December 2017. But less snow than when I was rostered on them last time!”

Saturday 23rd
The first GWSR train pulls into Broadway station!

See this on YouTube

Congratulations to P-Way Dept on their splendid achievement! Supported (in a small way) by boot scraper sales (they receive £5 for each one sold).

Sunday 24th
Busy afternoon: Message from Café on Winchcombe station - they’d only two boot scrapers left! So, I dashed off to Todders to pick up four to restock them. But as I was carrying them from car to café, they sold two more! Back to Todders … decided to pick up two plus two more (just on case). Sure enough, back at the café they had only two left again! Selling faster than hot mince pies.

Monday 25th
Four of us lit up two locos ready for Boxing Day services.

Wednesday 27th
Heavy snowfall plus power outage at Toddington caused the railway to close … and I couldn’t get the car out of my road because no grip on compacted snow.

Thursday 28th
Railway still closed because the car park was like a skating rink!

Saturday 30th
Those of us who failed to avoid Andrew Marshall ended up cleaning the bits of spring gear that we had helped the P&O guys remove recently.

Bruce managed to do a little more prep work on the guard irons that we hope to fit to the tender.

The most important task of the day was to repair a broken wheel on the radiator in the van. Bruce had modified a castor to suit, and is here drilling out the broken one.

I had two boot scraper orders to progress, so I managed to avoid P&O cleaning, too!

Timetable of events
2807 should be leaving Llangollen on Monday 8th Jan and arriving back at Todders on Tuesday 9th.  Winter maintenance commences then, and she has to be fit for service by end of February.


Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Maintenance Update (hanger, tie, thumb, challenge)

Llangollen Report
No news … must be good news.

Wednesday 20th
Following on from our help to the P&O Group, our team got stuck in beneath their loco again.

Left is Rob; right is Bruce, and Gilbert is under there somewhere! That’s Andrew (red arrow) representing the P&O Group.

Here’s Rob removing a spring hanger. There are two cotter pins in each hanger - one at the top and one at the bottom. The P&O guys had helpfully removed the bottom cotter … it’s the top one that needs to come out!

With the top one out, the hanger drops down and out. Then there is a plate on top of the spring to be removed.

Rob again, in a relatively spacious area, removing another hanger.

With both hangers out, the spring has to be rotated (bottom pulled towards Rob) to release the yoke at the point of suspension. Then the spring comes crashing down! Once all six springs are off, the horn ties have to be released. This needs four nuts undoing (thankfully, they had all been loosened by P&O guys beforehand). However, the horn tie is a tad heavy, and also come crashing down. Rob’s thumb can vouch for that!

There’s not a lot of room under there! Fitting these all back together when the underkeep pads have been replaced is going to be a challenge. It will have to be done over a pit; otherwise these lumps are just too heavy to lift back from this position.

By end of play, we had all six springs off and four of the six horn ties. It was a shame, because I thought we’d got them all off, but Rob & I started in the middle; moved to the front, then forgot about the back ones … doh! 😒


Saturday, 16 December 2017

Maintenance Update (chuffed, butcher, P&O, hundred)

Llangollen Report
The following photos were taken on the weekend of 9/10 December by Paul Evans.

Paul says: “I'm more than happy to let you copy whatever you like. She's a fantastic locomotive; I keep saying to people that she's a pretty engine. My dad was a former fireman on the line for British Railways Western Region at Croes Newydd engine shed and I've got involved this year in the shed and on the footplate. … I'm on the footplate on 23rd, 31st Dec and 1st Jan. I do love your Loco and on the autumn steam gala with Sir Keith Parkes slipping and sliding, she just waltzed out of the station and made it look so easy. Thank you and I’m chuffed to bits that you will use the photos”.

Wednesday 13th
The planned mega-clip by P-Way was cancelled due to snow. Our working day had been cancelled because of the P-Way mega-clip day …

… but I had two boot scraper deliveries to make anyway. But before that, as I was doing my shopping, I noticed a pile of a dozen cardboard trays put out for the recycling men outside the butcher’s. So I “lifted” some (literally), because they are exactly what we use to protect the boot scrapers. Toby, the butcher, spotted me helping myself and yelled, “I’ll bring the rest, Rog!” So, he very kindly carried those that I couldn’t round to my house. Hence, I spent the morning in our van, cutting them all to size. You can hardly get in the van, now!

Friday - Loco Dept Management Meeting
2807 absolutely must be ready for service by end of February

Saturday 16th
We spent most of the day helping with P&O, whose axleboxes need some work doing on them. This requires the whole loco being lifted on the jacks and wheels dropped. To get at the axleboxes, you have to remove the springs, otherwise you can’t remove the horn ties to drop the underkeeps …

It took all day to get the hydraulic lifting gear into the right place… 😏

During the afternoon, John T snook off to play with our new needle gun!

The Flag & Whistle sold two more boot scrapers, making their total sales this year up to one hundred! The staff were suitably rewarded.

Gilbert pinned up his wish list of things to do in the 7 week winter maintenance period. 😓

Llan say that 2807 is scheduled to be in service:
December: 16 & 17, 22-24 and 30 & 31.
Reids are booked to collect her on January 8th to return to Todders on 9th.


Saturday, 9 December 2017

Maintenance Update (wedges, plates, frozen, coffee)

Wednesday 6th
Our new needle gun arrived on Monday, so I have marked it as “2807”. However, it didn’t get used today. I had to fit a connector to it (which I purloined from another air tool that we never ever use) but …… it was a tad quiet in our group, as Bruce took the day off (birthday) and John G took the day off (out with his son). This gave me the opportunity to do some wood cutting. From a H&S perspective, I will not use our band saw if there are people walking in & out. Also, it is not sensible to use it when there is wet paint around! So, today was ideal.

I had acquired a large (desk top sized) piece of hardwood from which to make wedges. It was too big to handle safely, so initially I sawed it in half. Then I cut a straight edge because it had been broken when removed - I don’t know where from; I found it in a skip!).

Then I could cut strips 20mm x 12mm (sorry to have to use mms); chop these into 9mm lengths, and then turned each piece into two wedges.

Andy Smith [P-Way] popped in to see how his boot scraper is coming along. I applied its top coat today.

Meanwhile, over at Winchcombe Ray was making metal plates for use on some door parts where the wood has been nibbled away by a bolt.

The plates will protect the wood and enable the bolt to hold the door pieces together.

Gil & Fred were there, too, but I didn’t see what they were up to!

Saturday 9th
Rob, Bruce and I were in attendance, but decided not to do a lot, as it was somewhat cool. The water supply to ‘our’ van was frozen solid. Apart from a slow progression of rail chairs towards becoming boot scrapers, Bruce had an investigate into how to repair one of the castors on our heater. See: jobs are thin on the ground, so little things get attended to!

Fred & Gil joined us for elevenses. It’s warmer in our van than in their siphon.

Rob managed some painting, but was then called off to be induced (seems to be done in several stages these days). Luckily this was at lunchtime, so he snook off with a hot coffee in his hands. Probably the envy of the rest of the group of newies.

Bruce & I decided that neither of us would be here on Wednesday, so we cancelled Wednesday.
Bruce left, and I finished off a couple of things before departing. Rob had finished his session by then, and there was no point in starting anything new, so …

I thought I’d call in at Winchcombe station to see if they were displaying boot scrapers. They would have been, but they’d sold them all! Apparently, a lady had driven 50 miles to buy one today …luckily the staff suggested she ring the Flag & Whistle, which she did. They did have some.

Not liking to leave a bare shelf, I turn around and headed back to Todders and extracted eight boot scrapers from the van: two for the Flag & Whistle, and six for Winchcombe station. Lynn got quite excited because her Flag & Whistle has now sold 98 this year! She reckoned that she would have made the 100 by nightfall. I didn’t wait to see, but I may well pop in tomorrow (snow permitting) to see if she has made the ton.

Brian has received info from Llan to say that 2807 is scheduled to be in service:
December: 2 & 3, 9 & 10, 16 & 17, 22-24 and 30 & 31.
Reids are booked to collect her on January 8th to return to Todders on 9th.


Saturday, 2 December 2017

Maintenance Update (gun, invaded, challenge, weeds)

Wednesday 29th
The Steam Loco Dept has bought a new needle gun … so we just had to try it out! In fairness, we had been debating about ours, as it does struggle to do the job (and it was cheap!).

You can see how much bigger theirs is, and also it is insulated such that using it is vibration-free. I have to say, it does have a bit of a kick in it when it starts up! It certainly does a good job. See how it demolished the rust on the 1957 rail chair. I’ve left the pile of rust so you can see. And notice the shine on the metal. Hardly need to wire-brush it afterwards (doing Bruce out of a job!).

Bruce, John G and I were invaded by the siphon team at lunchtime. They just came, used our facilities and then buzzed off again!

L-to-R: John G, Bruce, Bill, Ray and Fred’s foot

News from Fred about the siphon van
Fred, Bill, Ray and Gil were all working on the Siphon, once more. It sounds as though they have practically finished the electrics, but not yet installed the LED lights.

They had a bit of a challenge on one metal bracket on the corner of one door: two bolts refused to behave.

Saturday 2nd
Rob, John T, Bruce and I struggled in the cold and damp! John began with some gardening. He’d brought a couple of hellebores for our nature corner. He also tidied up some dead stems. It’s beginning to look like a garden … including what John called weeds! OK, they are weeds, but only when you don’t want them in your flower bed. They’ll have yellow flowers next spring. Every bit of colour helps!

John got to try out the new departmental needle gun. Rob missed out, as he was off to watch a rugby match in the afternoon. We were rained off after lunch, anyway.

Brian has received info from Llan to say that 2807 is scheduled to be in service.  December: 2 & 3, 9 & 10, 16 & 17, 22-24 and 30 & 31.  Reids are booked to collect her on January 8th to return to Todders.

See what a grey sky it was today! No one was still working inside our siphon van by 3 pm.


Thursday, 30 November 2017

Anticipated Llangollen operational dates

We're expecting 2807 to be in operation at Llangollen on these dates:

Santa Specials on 2/12, 3/12, 9/12, 10/12, 16/12, 17/12, 22/12, 23/12 and 24/12

Winter Warmer Specials on 30/12 and 31/12

As always, subject to availability.


Saturday, 25 November 2017

Maintenance Update (LED, brass, spanners, fuse)

News from Fred about the siphon van
“We have completed the repair of the wooden ceiling trunking holding existing cabling to internal 240V power sockets. This will also carry cables for the new LED low voltage lighting in the coach. We have trial fitted one lamp and resisted making it sparkly and multi-coloured for Xmas.”

Fred is greatly saddened by the fact that, now door handle holes are covered and the side vents are backed with plastic sheeting, the robins have been unable to gain access. We are all very caring about the environment and the wildlife, you know.

Wednesday 22nd
Fred, Bill, Ray and Gil were all working on the Siphon, once more. Gil was shaving a smidgeon off some of the doors to get them to fit better. The others were taking advantage of the weather and fitting the door stops around the outside.

We’d had a cylinder of brass delivered to Todders. This is from which to make new bushes for the coupling rods. Some of the bushes are out of tolerance (which is perhaps not surprising after 8 years of use).

Bruce brought in his homework, which consists of two clack spanners. He donated one to Foremarke Hall. They are made specifically to fit the square ends on the top clack valves.

Bruce suggests making a similar spanner for the blow-down valve (which is square-ended, too). The issue with the blow-down valve is that if you open the valve and then accidentally drop the spanner, you can’t clamber underneath to retrieve it! Hence, a spanner of this type is safer to use than an open-ended spanner.

Saturday 25th
Rob and I started off playing with the band saw. It made a peculiar noise when we started it, and then the band fell off! The first attempt to fix it also failed, whereupon I slid quietly out of the door and let Bruce take over! The two of them then fitted a new blade and squirted various bits with lubricant. This seemed to do the trick, as Rob was then able to saw up a couple of pieces of wood for me.

We three then moved on to the inevitable …. however, just before lunch, our compressor decided that it was not happy being left alone in the cold. It tripped the fuse. We decided to take lunch and  investigate afterwards. The problem seems to be that there are times when it really struggles to start up. Usually, this is first thing in the day when someone forgot to release the pressure from its last use. This it does not like! Today, however, it may have stood idle for a while, after I had been using it; and when Rob took over, it was still pressurised and cold, and ….. the solution was to release the pressure and start again. This worked, and the compressor behaved for the afternoon.

Gil & Bill joined us for lunch. I think they get lonely at Winchcombe.

In an idle moment or two, Bruce decided that the pile of cables stuffed under the shelf in the container really needed tidying up. So, they are now sorted, rolled, tied and hung up. How long before someone takes one, uses it and then stuffs it back under the shelf?


Saturday, 18 November 2017

Maintenance Update (Victorian, Winchcombe, lead, rain)

News from LLangollen
There are no more services at Llangollen until the Santa trains begin, in December. So, 2807 ran on the weekend of 4th & 5th November, but there will be nothing more to report for four weeks!

Rather than go on and on about boot scrapers , I’ll take a break until something of greater interest occurs. However, we have 15 boot scrapers “on the shelf” and more in the pipeline; the Flag & Whistle have sold 94; John got fed up with painting them GWR green, so painted one in LNER Darlington Green; and I’ve just had a phone call from Germany ordering a September 1946 one!

Bruce pointed out on Saturday that in the last update, Tom Peacock called 2807 “the Victorian cart horse”. But Victoria died on 22 January 1901, which was nearly five years before 2807 came into service! Edward VII was on the throne (maybe not literally) when 2807 rolled out of Swindon works.

Fred, Gil, Ray and Bill were all at Winchcombe working inside the siphon. They have just bought and/or refurbished some “door furniture”.

The inside of the siphon is looking very smart. Still some cowls to paint and fit to the roof. Some boxes have been acquired as part of the museum feature (being for the fruit section).

Saturday 18th
Bill was first at the siphon; Fred and Gil shortly after. I spoke with Bill because I called in at Winchcombe to search for a 9-46 rail chair (q.v.) on my way to Todders. Unfortunately, by the time I reached Todders, it had decided to rain!

John T was first at Todders, soon followed by Rob. They had opened up, and started before the rain reached them. John had to abandon needle-gunning because the rain turns the rust into brown soup. Rob pressed on with painting inside the container, but much to his chagrin, the combination of cold and rain caused condensation on the rail chairs which brought that activity to a halt.

Bruce decided that the angle-grinder (which had previously only worked when you waggled the cable and got it in the right spot) needed a new and longer lead. That occupied him for a while (especially when removing the PAT tags from the old lead to the new).

I get on my high horse about people using the trolleys as work benches, and Rob and I brought a large pallet into the shed and removed the vacuum cylinder parts that have been sat on the trolley for weeks onto the pallet. With the trolley now free, we moved nine rail chairs (that I had brought from Winchcombe in my car) up to our pile near our compressor.

Fred, Bill & Gil joined us for lunch. Then after putting the world to rights, we decided that the rain really had defeated us. So we went home!


Saturday, 11 November 2017

Maintenance Update (Llangollen, coal, GWR, paint)

News from LLangollen
Graham B reported:
“2807 was on today's [Saturday 4th] service train. I spoke to the crew before the 13:00 departure. The driver said his only problem was that the regulator was a bit tricky: he found it difficult to get just the right opening saying that it was not smooth. This was probably more noticeable because of a lot of slipping on Berwyn Bank - this is unusual, perhaps we had the wrong leaves on the line for that stretch today. The Fireman commented on her being a strong a loco, but how hungry she was for coal and was concerned that there would be enough for the extra evening trip. Llangollen use coal from Eastern Europe and I reckon that while it is cheaper than Welsh coal it may have about 20% lower calorific value. I have a vague recollection that when we changed from Welsh coal it was very apparent how much more shovelling I had to do on 3802.”

One has to remember that the crews tend to be different on each day. Lots of people get perhaps only one go on the footplate. So, they don’t get a chance to become accustomed to a visiting loco with which they are not familiar. The comments from this crew are, IMHO, out of character for 2807. Also, it is most unusual for 2807 to slip - viz the comments from the previous report about her sure-footedness!

Tom Peacock comments: “Top day on the Victorian cart horse yesterday. Great to fire and even nicer to drive! I still reckon the 28’s are possibly one of the best suited classes for preservation work. They’ll ride happily at 25 and has more than enough grunt to do what you want with it. Top machine. I even like the colour.”

Graham sent the following “pic of 2807 just before the 13:00 departure on 4th Nov.”

Wednesday 8th
A huge “Thank you” should go to Bob Underwood, without whose inspiration and inventiveness we would have nothing to do while 2807 is on holiday! It was he who thought up the idea of boot scrapers.

We sold two today - and the railway is not even open!

So, John G, Bruce and I pressed on with building up the stocks (in anticipation of a Christmas rush!). There are two on the floor plus two on the bench with black bottoms; four in green primer, and two in red primer.

There are four in the van awaiting their top coats, and we have two orders: a 1937 GWR and an 1885 Midland Railway.

Meanwhile, Bruce had completed his homework, and brought the rail guards in for fitment. Of course, we can’t fit them because we haven’t got the engine!

Components, showing how the guard can be removed or pivoted easily

John “Green-Fingers” G demonstrates which way up it goes

… and where it goes, beneath the rear brake hanger on the tender

The purpose is to clear anything fouling the rails when the loco is running in reverse, to minimise the risk of derailment. In GWR/BR days, these engines rarely ran in reverse, so rail guards were only fitted at the front of the pony truck. Now that she goes backwards just as often as forwards, we are fitting bespoke guards to the brake hangers at the back of the tender.

Over at Winchcombe, there was a full complement of chaps working on the siphon: Bill, Gil, Fred & Ray. I’m not sure what they find to do, there. Isn’t it finished yet? 😊

Saturday 11th
Well, there’s little to do but press on with boot scrapers! Bruce, Rob and I took it easy, just moving the current ones forward in the production process.

Bruce is quite pleased with the success of mixing Deproma jelly with xylene to make paint again!

Our skill at applying paint to almost any object led to a request to paint the covers over the loco weighing equipment yellow. Doing this was spread over the week, to allow each coat to harden. There’s a black line through the middle, which shows the mid-point of the scales. This is the ideal point for the loco wheels to be positioned, though there is a tolerance of a few inches either side of this.

By end of play there was already a dirty footprint on the left one! 😒


Sunday, 29 October 2017

Maintenance Update (Coffee, Glenfarg, paint, welding)

Sunday 22nd
I had a message from the Coffee Pot café at Winchcombe to say that they only have one boot scraper left!

Monday 23rd
I had an email from Steam Railway to say that “Somebody has posted on National Preservation that she’s now due to stay there [at Llan] over the winter and will be taking part in their next gala”. Not so. She’s due back here at the beginning of January.

Popped down to Todders to pick up 5 boot scrapers ready to restock the Coffee Pot on Tuesday. Painted the gold lettering on four that are in production. Stuart was just packing himself up ready to go home, after spending the weekend at the Food Fayre, promoting 2807.

Tuesday 24th
Another email from Steam Railway asking if 2807 will be back from her Heavy General Overhaul in time for the Glenfarg Trials! Apparently, a 28xx went up to Scotland for trials in 1921.

(The content of external web sites linked to from this blog is not the responsibility of CSP Ltd.)

Another phone call from the Coffee Pot; They had sold the last one, so I had to zoom round and deliver the 5 boot scrapers to them.

Wednesday 25th
John G and I pressed on with boot scraper production. The Flag & Whistle only had two left so I restocked with 4 (of the 5 we had in stock!). Would you believe it? Some clever Dick had only tested one of the boot scrapers by cleaning his muddy boots on one while it was still on the display trolley!!! In any ordinary shop, he would be legally obliged to buy it! In this case, however, all I could do was remove it, clean it, and put it back on the shelf!

We had some paint delivered for use on the exterior of the siphon van. Although the paint was actually in the box, it wasn’t exactly all in the tins!

Bruce dressed our bench grinding wheel and adjusted the guard. Then he was giving advice to a group who are restoring the little Peckett. Its steps had been bent, and Bruce was recommending the best way to get them straight again. They probably need to cut them off, straighten using a press, and then weld them back on again. After lunch, Bruce went home to do more work on the guard iron components. They were cut for us, but need a bit of tidying up and the fixing holes need to be drilled.

By end of play, we had six rail chairs in green top coat and one in crimson, plus two waiting to be wire-brushed.

Here’s a test for you: One of the group of locos on the left is 2807. Which one is it? They are all GWR 2-8-0s

The photo comes from a 1980s publication called Heavy Freight, and the photo is credited to M Pope.

Thursday 26th
Gilbert received the following update from Llangollen:
“2807 has been running faultlessly whilst she has been with us. When she first arrived there was a small issue with the vacuum dropping off. We removed the pepper pots and retaining valve; cleaned them up and refitted. Since then we have not had a spot of bother from her.

All the crews have enjoyed being on it and I have already been asked numerous times do we have to send her back. She is a credit to you all."

Saturday 28th
John T & Graham B had gone to Llan to see/fire 2807 (respectively). Sadly, 2807 was not rostered because it was a supporters’ day for 5199.

At Todders we only had Bruce in action. During the day he progressed various rail chairs: moved six that had been top-coated from container to van for lettering; nail-gunned three; wire-brushed five, and gave black bottoms to those five.

Briefly, Rob (our new recruit) popped in to say that Gilbert had purloined him to work on the siphon van at Winchcombe, and then he buzzed off there. Later, he and Gilbert returned to pick up our welding kit. Apparently, he did some welding on the chains that hold up the shelving inside the siphon. Fred and Bill were also at Winchcombe, working on the siphon.

Re. the brown paint (see Wednesday) destined for the siphon exterior, Williamsons (the paint supplier) kindly sent us another tin of paint to make up for that lost in transit.


Saturday, 21 October 2017

Maintenance Update (Llangollen, grate, fayre, Carrog)

Wednesday 18th
Bruce helped Mike S and JC [Loco dept] in clearing some bits of rubbish into the skips. It had been piled up by the skips, so presumably it was meant to go in them!

John G, Bruce & I started up the boot scraper production line. The F&W had sold two, so they were restocked. Roger B [Loco Dept] came along to enquire about buying a boot scraper before he leaves - he’s moving house over to Lincolnshire. John sold him one!

I was needle-gunning. Many of the rail chairs are covered in a mixture of mud and grease that has solidified. It’s easier to chisel it off than needle-gun it! Bruce was wire brushing and grinding off rough edges. John was painting. At end of play, there were 9 chairs in the container: three are primed on top; six have been bottomed - some in green, just for a change from black! A tenth one is awaiting the brush & grind phase.

News from Llangollen can be found on the web:
There are 89 photos here:
A video at Berwyn station:

(The content of external web sites linked to from this blog is not the responsibility of CSP Ltd.)

As an aside: I train newies to light up locos. I tell them that even if there are burning embers from the previous day when you come to do a light-up ALWAYS rake it all out and start with a fresh fire. It is not always possible to get a super-clean grate under these circumstances, but you MUST get out the ash and any clinker as best you can. Vis. I quote from the GWSR blog:

“I was the rostered fireman on Wednesday and when I found 2807 on one of the pits, the fire from the steam test the day before was still burning on the back of the grate. The instructions for firemen say that you should always rake it all out regardless, don't try lighting up on it. I took the view that you shouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth, and after a rudimentary clean of the dead ash, left it where it was and carried on from there. Needless to say, the back half of the grate stayed blacked out for the whole of the first trip and stubbornly refused to catch the fresh coal placed on top. I raked it through at the end of the first trip, lesson learnt!”

Thursday 19th
Rained all day, so I popped down to do a spot of painting. Paint still tacky from Wednesday, so couldn’t! Nor could I cut wooden wedges because of the sawdust it creates sticking to the tacky paint! Not a productive day.

Saturday 21st
As it was the Food Fayre at Todders, no one but me turned up! You see, we are supposed to park on the field adjacent to the station, and no one likes walking all the way from there down to the yard …

So, I was able to cut some wedges for boot scrapers using the band saw, without fear of being nudged or bumped! Once the sawdust had settled (i.e. after elevenses), I was able to slap a primer coat on six chairs and a top coat on a further three. The green primer was like treacle, and the red was mostly skin, so I popped over to the paint shop in Tewkesbury and bought a couple of tins.

During the morning, there were brief interferences from Gil & Stuart, who were manning a stall in the marquee. Stu bought two shrubs for the new flower garden.

New volunteer Rob was being induced today. He popped down the yard afterwards, but everyone had gone home by then (4.30). The weather was a bit grim!

Two photos of 2807 at Carrog on the Sunday gala from Graham Bondi:


2807 at Llangollen

No. 2807 is visiting the Llangollen railway for a few months.  There are videos on YouTube, and to find some of them, try this link:

YouTube 2807 Llangollen

Please remember, "The content of external web sites linked to from this blog is not the responsibility of CSP Ltd."


Sunday, 8 October 2017

Maintenance Update (coal, examination, compress, blocked)

Monday 2nd October
Rowan and I went down to prepare the loco. Andy Turner kindly cleared the grate of copious piles of ash & clinker.

Rowan gathered wood from the wood store; passed tools to and from Andy, and then set about sorting lumps of coal into the right sizes … by hand!

I carried out the “standard” checks - everything was looking very good. One mudhole door nut slightly loose; No sign of dampness anywhere. I cleared the ash out of the smokebox and finally laid the fire. Retired at 18.40 hrs with fire looking healthy and well banked up.

Tuesday 3rd
Gilbert reports:
“The boiler Inspector carried out his hot examination at working temperatures this morning and has passed the loco for another 12 months of operation.

Safety Valves were tested, the firebox interior was scrutinised, and the smokebox interior was examined. No faults were identified.

The inspector has amended the written scheme of examination in respect of the super-heater and steam pipework.

Plug no 33 which had been fizzing on Saturday morning showed no visible or audible sign of leakage.

The bottom mud-hole doors were all sound.”

Wednesday 4th
2807 was in service - last public service day for her here at Todders. Thursday is a Fire & Drive.

Issues recently logged:
38: [vacuum] retaining valve occasionally sticks with res[ervoir] @19”. Sorts itself out & returns
to normal. {Cliff mentioned this last week; JC has fed graphite into it to see if that unsticks it}
40: Wear mark on rear driving axle centre between ashpan doors. Ashpan rubbing on axle?
{Inspected. Nothing in contact with axle}
41: Ejector valve needs repacking as soon as practical.
42: Whistle deflector plate/cab shroud missing; whistle painfully loud in cab. {2807 has never had a shroud behind the whistle}
43: Vac[uum] retaining valve playing up - Res[ervoir] varies between 19-24. {This is a repeat of
38, above. Bruce suspects that it is not the retaining valve but possibly an intermittent leak on the
vacuum cylinder gland itself.}
44: Both piston rod felts slow to feed. Rod drier than preferred.
45: Left leading coupling rod catching on wheel @ crank pin boss.

Bruce and Gil spent the day getting ready for Saturday, which is also the only opportunity to split loco from tender and address any issues.

John G was wire-brushing chairs, a couple of which are most interesting. The photo shows a narrow 00 BR Swindon. His son, Jon, had brought these along for us.

Some paint was also applied. I, too, was painting the six in the production line.

I called in at Winchcombe on the way to Todders. Bill was painting in our siphon van, all on his own! The café had sold four boot scrapers. At the end of the day, I took four down to restock, and they had sold another one during the day!

Saturday 7th
Loco Dept chaps had immediately begun clearing out the grate, smokebox and ashpan. Furthermore, Luke, Stuart and Graham assisted us throughout the day.

Gil removed the ejector handle and inserted two more turns of packing - issue 41 fixed.

Gil, Bruce, Graham and Luke tackled the right-hand injector steam valve that had been seen to leak steam (though not a reported issue). It took them all morning to re-cut the seat, and even then it still had a couple of marks that they could not get out … the cutter by now being a tad blunt! Nevertheless, it was judged greatly improved, and was repacked and reassembled.

Bruce disconnected the water, heating and vacuum pipes between loco and tender, and I tied them up out of the way.

John T assisted Gil making an inventory of equipment that is going with the loco and which isn’t.

John, Bruce, Stuart and I loaded two spare fire bars and two spare springs (one loco; one tender) onto the back of the tender. JC lifted the springs using the JCB.

JC fired up the 04 shunter and squeezed us up against Foremarke Hall in order to compress the buffers between loco and tender, which is the only way to be able to pull the main pin out from the main linkage. The two safety links are easy to free, which will wait until Monday during the loading process.

After lunch, we decided to clear a blocked tube that the external examiner had spotted on Tuesday. This uses a flexible hose with brass digger in the end, all attached to our vacuum cleaner. I was inside the firebox probing the blockage, while at various times, Gil, Graham, Bruce and John manned the vacuum cleaner. You can hear the ash being sucked along the hose, but then every so often the end gets blocked. Sometimes it can be cleared by turning the vacuum cleaner to “blow”, whereupon a cloud of dust explodes from the end; otherwise a large piece of ash may be lodged in the end of the digger. In the midst of doing this, JC shunted us out of the yard and onto the loading road. The tube was blocked end-to-end, and it took all afternoon to suck out all of the ash.

Finally, Graham unbolted the bell housing beneath the smokebox (because it can get damaged as the loco climbs up the lorry’s ramp), and Gil was left to sweep the cab floor!

All in all, an excellent day’s work! She’s now fit to be collected 9.00 Monday morning.