A frantic attempt at getting everything ready was mainly led by the Loco Dept. Clive had mustered a
gang of six chaps to tackle the fitting of loco brake shoes. We know that it is awkward and heavy
work, but it does help if the shoes fit! They had already been sent back for machining because the
knuckle was too broad to fit inside the hangers, and now we discovered that the knuckle was also
too deep and the shoes fouled one thing or another! By end of play, there was still one left to fit.
The shoes are too heavy to lift by hand, so a pair of jacks is used to slide the shoe up around the
wheel. Then when one shoe was in position, the top shoulder was wedged between hanger and
wheel - so tight that it had to be hammered to get it free! It was agreed that we would grind off all
top shoulders (as marked in white on the above photo, and being done in the 3rd photo.
Then, at least, the shoe would go up around the wheel and the knuckle would almost go into the
hanger … but not quite! Out it came again; this time for some to be ground off the back of the knuckle. Sadly, this occurred more than once on more than one shoe! Then it was discovered that the securing pin would not fit in the front RHS hanger because the gland housing of the piston was fouling that! Bruce ground a chamfer on part of the pin’s head to alleviate that problem.
Look how tight the top of the shoe is against the hanger pivot
Every shoe needed some adjustment with an angle-grinder. Either they are not the right pattern for a 28xx loco, or our loco is just not “Swindon standard”.
Our sincerest thanks go to: Clive (of course) plus Roger Brindley, Fred Yardy, Martin Clark, Mike Perry, Richard Winstanley and Pete Gutteridge.
Bruce, Brian and Gil were all involved with the brakes.
There were people doing other things, too - Bruce, for example, fitted a new chain to the sandbox lid(s).
Brian and I pushed the loco along to move rods out of the way for fitting RHS shoes.
John G largely spent the day painting rail chairs, but then polished some of the brassware in the cab.
Brian and Bruce cleaned out the toolboxes on the loco and did some tidying up.
Brian, Bruce, Gil and I got underneath and reconnected the brake linkages. There’s a bottle screw under there for adjusting them. It takes two people to wield King Dick and turn the nuts on it.
Fred Yardy [Loco Dept] and I lit a warming fire. Once this had taken hold, we refitted the curved
covers in front of the valves. Then I noticed how the boiler barrel was covered in a rusty deposit.
Presumably, all of the necessary angle-grinding had created a sandstorm of metal particles that all
turned bright orange over night! In the final half hour, I washed this off the LHS of the boiler and the
running boards, but couldn’t clamber up on top to complete the job properly before running out of
“I was in at 05:45 after leaving London at 04:00 to light up 2807. We brought her into steam very slowly and only lifted the safety valves at 13:00. Clive Norton(Driver) with Me (fireman) and owners rep (Bruce) then spent a few hours trundling up and down testing, and braking in, the new brake blocks as well as looking for any issues following winter maintenance.
I am very very pleased to say that at 16:30 this afternoon 2807 was signed off as “Fit to Operate” and rostered as the loco to open the 2017 season at the GWSR. FANTASTIC!
Other good news today was 4270, 7903 and 35006 also completed their annual boiler exams.
John Pedley has found a couple of issues for us to address and these will be on the loco fault sheets for us to review, this is nothing that stops the loco operating.
It was also great to see Roger M with his grandson [Rowan], and even better to give them a little footplate ride.”
I had commented to the chaps that the bottom of the ashpan is deformed badly, which Bruce backed up with:
“Further to Roger’s comments, I think that we should survey the whole ashpan as well as the damper doors to determine what needs to be done. As well as distortion of the ashpan the damper doors don't shut properly.
Yesterday, (Thursday) Brian and I experienced firsthand how bad they are. After fitting the final brake block Brian and I, assisted by Angela, [Loco Dept] had to reconnect the right side brake linkage which is underneath the ashpan. The problem was that Brian had already got the fire going well, so we ran the gauntlet by dodging the hot coals falling from the rear damper door, but we managed.
Later, we ran up and down the siding to start bedding the brakes in but this resulted in the left side brakes needing to be adjusted again, so under we go again, dodging the hot coals once more.
The outcome was a hole in my coat and a burn on my neck and a hole in Brian’s coat. I think that this illustrates that something needs to be done, probably before we go to Didcot.”
2807 was in service, as hoped.
Gilbert was spying upon Mark Young as he took measurements concerning Dinmore Manor’s valve timing. Then he went for a ride behind 2807.
I gave lighting-up training to Andrew & John Bartlett [Loco Dept]; painted a few chairs, and looked after some visitors.
2807 looked and sounded pretty good to me!