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! 😒


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