Thursday, 6 July 2017

Maintenance Update (steam, door, lead, cool)

Saturday 1st
On Friday, Brian & Gilbert were present while the boiler inspection was carried out, after which the boiler was boxed up and filled with water. This takes an age, even when pumping water up through the blow-down valve. Brian & Gil then lit a warming fire, and retired at about 6 pm.

So, this morning there was still 20 psi on the clock when Brian lit a steam-raising fire. Some wisps of steam were visible from a couple of the top mud-hole doors, and Brian continues:
At 40psi we did a final nip up of all the doors, top and bottom, and proceeded to raise steam at 100psi. We still had wisps of steam from the three doors but all agreed to continue with the test.
At 140psi the Fireman’s side back top door seal failed and we started to hear an audible escape of steam. The immediate decision was to halt the test, pull the fire to the back of the firebox, and to gently cool the boiler over the next couple of hours.

The decision was then taken that, when the boiler is cool enough, to remove the four offending doors; clean them; particularly clean the internal surface on the boiler where they seat; fit new seals, and try again. It is possible that the boiler (and water) will be warm enough to light a steam-raising fire and carry out the test during the late afternoon. We would really like 2807 to be in service for 8/9 July, because 9th July is our Supporters' Day, so we would like 2807 to pull the 11:10 train from Toddington with us on it!

Tuesday 4th
Mark Young [Loco Dept] took out the four mud hole doors. He cleaned them and also the inside of the outer firebox wrapper where they meet. He put them all back together (with new seals, of course) and asked the service train crew to pull 2807 out of the shed and light a warming fire. Mark’s view was that these doors do not fit particularly well, and should be replaced at the 10 year overhaul. I popped down at 7 pm, and there was a lovely fire.

Wednesday 5th
Brian was up shortly after dawn had cracked; left home just after 5 am and arrived at Todders for 7.15. I had planned on joining him, but Granddad duties did not go to plan! So, Brian lit a new fire with a view to raising steam gradually throughout the day.

I finally arrived at 10.30, at which time there was about 40 psi and the top front RHS mud hole door was already emitting steam. Bruce came to see how things were going - Daphne, his wife, was unwell so he couldn’t stay long. Various attempts were made at tightening the doors and gradually raising pressure. By lunchtime, things were not looking good. At 140 psi the top left rear door had “popped” and was blowing steam. The top right front was still leaking steam. There was no option - test failed again!

I recalled that we previously had had to use lead seals on some of the mud hole doors (but can’t remember which). After some discussion, it was agreed that 2807 would go back in the shed to cool down. When cool enough, the two doors will be removed and lead gaskets will be fitted to them. Then yet another steam test will be attempted. With luck, this can take place on Saturday. If these seals don’t work, then I’m afraid that our supporters’ day train will be hauled by 4270.

Meanwhile, John T fitted the remaining ferrules (around wash-out plugs) that had been removed to gain access to the plugs and then he bravely stood out in the sun, needle-gunning five rail chairs.

John G, at the other end of the yard, was wire-brushing and painting chairs some black bottoms and some green tops.

Note the three “different” ones that John G had chosen last week - he was fed up with only painting GWR green chairs! So, here we have Midland Railway 1902; Southern Railway 1945, and LNER 1947.

Back to BR(W) and GWR green next week!

Cotswold Steam & Wildlife Preservation Corner
Having sat supping tea watching the wagtails, we noticed them bringing live food to the nest - caterpillars and the like. They showed no interest in the bowl of bird seed that I put for them. After very little research (i.e. Wikipedia) it transpires that wagtails are insectivores! Only in really desperate times would they stoop to eating mere bird seed!

Having acquired some mealworms for them, however, it was evident today that the young have fledged and all buzzed off! So, I got on with digging the CSPL garden (at the side of our container) in readiness for sowing some wild flower seeds.


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