With 2807 in service, it was not surprising that only John T and myself turned up at Todders. I had sprained my back doing gardening last week, so I was limited in what I could do. This amounted to some tweaking of the conduit and painting some brushes for boot scrapers. Bruce had commented that the one joining sleeve that we had fitted looked a bit cumbersome, and offered to “adjust” it with an angle grinder. However, I looked today and found that we have 5 of the original type of joining sleeve. So I replaced the one we’d fitted with an old one. I cleaned them all up, too, ready for use.
John T had already started cleaning rail chairs before I arrived. He pressed on with this on his own, completing five by end of play - including painting their bottoms black.
I nipped off to Winchcombe to get signatures on 100 Club winners’ cheques, but when I arrived at the siphon, there was no one there!
So, I thought I’d at least take a couple of photos of the doors. There’s the one that still needs refurbishing …
And there’s this one that is complete all but for a lick of paint …
Note the deliberate hole in the door. This is for putting one’s hand through. On the inside there’s a guillotine …
No, seriously, it’s a sliding plate to keep wind & rain out (though wind is a bit pointless as the van has slatted sides!) and allow the door to be opened (but the handle doesn’t seem to have been fitted yet). Either that, or it was intended for when the siphon was used as an ambulance train, and the hole is to pass food through to infectious patients …
I had to pop down to Todders briefly. Coincidentally, it was the grand celebration of P&O finally hauling passengers. I figured that every photographer and his dog would be out snapping away. So, when I saw the zebra crossing, I thought that would be amusing - albeit nothing to do with 2807.
That incidental loco in the shot was only running on three cylinders, apparently. Sounded most odd!
Confused? You will be ….
… Bruce told me that last Thursday something was playing up on the vacuum system. Mark Y had investigated, checking everything on the loco that was connected with vacuum, and could not find a cause. Judging by one small pipe below the cab floor appearing to be at an odd angle (i.e. not straight) MY assumed that to be a possible cause. He rang Gilbert to alert him, and Gil rang Bruce.
On Friday, Bruce & Gil went along to investigate. Search as they may, they could not find a leak. The only thing they found was that one lengthy pipe under the loco was clamped at one end but not at the other. Bruce used rubber and jubilee clip to clamp it to the train pipe to prevent it from oscillating. While under there, Bruce noticed that the piston beneath the vacuum cylinder on the tender was stuck right up at the top of its travel. The new brake blocks had obviously worn more, and so he & Gil adjusted the brakes on the tender and also on the loco.
Back to Wednesday: With 2807 still in service, and the weather being really teasing (you get the chair cleaning equipment out … then it rains … adjourn for cuppa … sun comes out … dash out and start cleaning … rain … inside for early lunch … sun … out for cleaning … Between Bruce & I, we managed to clean just one rail chair! In fairness, Bruce did manage to get to the loco to see if today’s crew had experienced any issues. They hadn’t.
John G had a more successful day, as he had been painting rail chairs inside the TPO!
Mike-the-Lamp popped in to check our loco lamps, as they will be needed for the gala in another week’s time. The three white loco lamps are all OK (though we don’t have a red screen for any of them … not that that should matter to the loco). However, the innards of our gauge frame lamp have gone AWOL. Mike seemed to recall that there had been a visiting loco whose lamp innards were faulty, and ours was “borrowed” to enable theirs to be used. It seems likely that our innards went back with their lamp … which is a bit of a bind.
Mike is now responsible (on behalf of the railway) to replace our missing innards.