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.


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