Today was the day of the Loco Dept: We had so many helpers, that I barely had time to do anything myself! Four people came (as a group) asking if we had anything for them to do. I set them on cleaning the rods (which were looking a bit grubby, if only because we had oiled them a while back, and they had picked up dirt).
Then two more chaps came along and asked if the firebox was clean (not that they planned on eating lunch in there, you understand). As it happens, I had raked most of the ash to the back, but elected not to go inside and clear it out … so they did! I lent them my personal tools for lifting fire bars and a hand-rake - if you lift a couple of bars, you can rake the cinders through into the ash pan.
Practically all day, John P had been measuring the play in all of our rods. We had already done some of this ourselves, and we are aware that the big ends are too slack. But we can’t do anything about that until we have a lengthy period out of service to remove rods and measure for new bushes.
Bruce had initially set me on cleaning two of the hydrostatic lubricator glasses that had become clogged with oil; Carpo said to do it without removing the glasses! I think it was just a challenge that he’d set me. It was not easy getting the oil and water out through the top nut and then cleaning the inside of the glass.
John G began his day by applying a primer coat to the 11 rail chairs in the boot scraper production line.
When he’d finished that, I pointed him at the driver-side number plate. I had originally varnished these, but over time the varnish had started peeling off. It looked a mess. So John applied some paint remover to get the remnants of varnish off. It took several applications, though.
Bruce & Gilbert set about fixing some of the minor points that arose from our steaming last Saturday. The fireman-side injector was leaking at both ends (amateur PTFE operative - i.e. me!). While about it, Bruce lapped in the clack valve on the top of that injector, too.
The steam heating ends came back from the workshop.
Something spotted, though not explicitly reported, was that the pep pipe (aka slacking pipe) dribbled constantly. Partly this is due to the top clack not being 100%, and allowing some steam to seep back down the water delivery pipe. Partly it was because the valve on the pipe was not a good fit. Bruce stripped it and discovered that there is a hole through the taper of the tap that should align with a delivery hole in the copper pipe.
He was not convinced that they were in line, and with the tap in situ, was able to scribe through the pipe hole onto the tap. Maybe you can see in the photo that his scribe is not exactly where the hole is!
One wonders how it worked at all!
We held a Board Meeting, which consumes time & resource (albeit of necessity). David & Bruce replaced the temporary steam heat connections with these newly delivered ones.
Gilbert was adjusting the brakes on the tender. However, David noticed that the centre, right-hand side shoe was totally jammed in its hanger. It could not swing freely at all. Mike, Bruce and David were all involved in removing the brake shoe - by use of a crowbar and much persuasion. An angle-grinder then encouraged the shoe to fit in its hanger correctly.
John P had noticed a loose taper pin in the mechanism that operates the drain cocks ... the proverbial Brummy Spanner was successful in ensuring it fitted tighter, though Gil has ordered some new ones to do the job properly.
Bruce finished his work on the pep valve. Gil attempted to tighten a nut on one of the horn guide tie-bars (but with little success, I gather).
I continued with boot scraper production, though severely limited by the Board Meeting … two black bottoms!
When Mike ran out of things to do, he cleaned out the smokebox. Its inside was covered in what looks like soot (but is probably a mixture of things such as tar-like deposits, rust and soot! It may look rusty (which it is!) but it’s clean rust!
While the door was open, David noticed that a securing chain had broken. You see the bar across the smokebox? On its left end (as you look at it) there is a securing pin, and this pin has a chain attached, to avoid it falling out and hiding in the ashes within the smokebox … or, worse, taking a trip up the chimney!
By end of play, we were satisfied that the loco is fit to run. In fact, the list of winter jobs on our whiteboard was looking good!
Remaining logged issues:-
We have agreed with the railway that 2807 will undertake some bedding-in runs on Wednesday next, so that we can monitor the pony; the rocking shaft and the tender brakes, in particular, before venturing out on a service train.
As a “Thank You” to the department volunteers (many of them having relatively recently joined) who helped with the work and cleaning on 2807 over the past couple of months, we are offering an opportunity to ride on the footplate between Toddington and Winchcombe on Wednesday during these runs.
2807 is on standby for Race Trains (Tuesday to Friday) and is not scheduled for a service until 31st March.
2807 looks like being at NYMR on service trains from 23rd September; in operation for at least 15 days through October and possibly into November.