Carpo “boxed up” the loco (i.e. fitted remaining mud hole doors and inserted all of the washout plugs) and lit a small warming fire: “If all is well tomorrow morning then I shall relight and we shall bring it round slowly”.
Remember Monday? That was the day that it rained!
I arrived at 9 o’clock as Carpo was making his breakfast. He was happy for me to light the fire, so I went and got changed. On my way to the van, I turned on the water for a cuppa, but when I got to the van, there was water gushing out of the pipe. It looked as though the (hose) pipe had “exploded”, about 8 inches from the tap. “Curious”, I thought. Once inside, I turned on the radiator - no electricity! It took me a while to put two and two together, but it appears that the diesel guys had been shunting on Sunday, and it seemed that they had given “our” van a bit of a bash! That’s what had torn our water supply in half; but also it ripped our mains cable out of its socket; in fact there was no sign of the plug at all (perhaps someone picked it up). So, amid bouts of shovelling coal, I also fixed our water supply; found another blue plug, re-routed our mains cable and fitted the plug. Nevertheless, it was twenty to twelve before I got my elevenses!
The firebox was dry as a bone, so I lit a fire as if it were a warming fire - just on the level, rear part of the grate. Once that was well established, I raked it forward and spread more coal around. Gradually this covered the whole grate area, and it was just a matter of time. This coal (left over from 2807’s trip to Yorkshire) is filthy stuff! The smoke was appallingly black. I wish I’d taken my camera …
As pressure slowly crept up, Carpo kept popping back to check on things. The blow-down valve needed tightening; the gauge frame nuts needed tightening (by hand only); a couple of mud hole doors were leaking steam, and the tender had no water in it. I abandoned ship at 2 pm, by which time there was 120 psi “on the clock”.
Carpo later reported: “so far the steam test has been successful with a high 180lb achieved this afternoon. I would have taken the pressure higher but I need to adjust the safety valves to do this and I didn't fancy doing that this afternoon whilst it was blowing a hoolie!”
Carpo reported: “You will be pleased to know that 219lb was reached today without any leakage from the replaced tube evident. I would like to check this once she has cooled down but it would appear that we are ready for the inspector next Monday.”
Following on from the water & electrics fiasco on Monday, it became clear when examining the rails, that “our” van had been shunted at least 20 feet along the track. Presumably, whoever did this had not realised that several vehicles were coupled together? Whether or not, they neglected to check that any of these vehicles was connected to a power supply! The finger points at the Class 26 & 45 group, as their locos are at the head of the line!
Pressure was off (literally) and today felt like it. The hardest working person today was John G, who applied a primer coat to eleven rail chairs! Is this a record?
Bruce checked that the safety valves had been tightened onto the spacers, and then fitted the brass bonnet.
We had three visitors who wanted to take a look at 2807. We’re always pleased to have our supporters pop in for a look and a chat.
I checked the state of the new tube and there was no sign of any leaking from front or back; then I removed the pressure gauge to enable it to be calibrated before the inspector comes on Monday.
Chris [Loco Dept] clambered into the firebox to clear out the ash.
Large chunks of what looks like rock were in the midst of the ash!
Mike [Loco dept] assisted Chris in finally disposing the engine, and Bruce helped by shovelling the ash out of the pit into their barrows.
Gilbert, Brian & Steve had a meeting to progress the plan for the Heavy General Overhaul. At best, we have three years left to run before the inevitable is upon us.
While he was underneath the loco, Bruce spotted a bit of a whoopsie. Our loco is unusual in that the wheels are not entirely independently sprung. Some adjacent pairs of springs are connected by a compensating beam. The purpose is not clear, though it may make the ride smoother over rough track. Well, Bruce spotted that one of the suspension links from spring to beam is a tad bent!
Bruce’s current thought is that the beam is not symmetrical, and we may have fitted it the wrong way round. This end is too long, and hence has pushed & bent the link. Further investigation is required!
Bruce brought his homework in to show us. He has made two parts to fit in the ends of the hose that serves as a boiler tube cleaner. One end has “teeth” to gnaw away at any blockages; the other is made to fit onto our hoover hose. This makes it a heck of a lot easier to access the boiler tubes from within the firebox (and even from within the smokebox) to suck (or blow) ash out of the tubes.
John T volunteered to clean more rail chairs. Meanwhile, I slapped an enamel top coat onto those in the production line.
I suddenly remembered the bright red rail chair that we made for the GWSR. This is used at Winchcombe station to show the driver where to stop. It is adapted to take a sign which reads: “Santa stop here”. I’ll drop that down to Winchcombe next week.
The station shop has taken over the last remnants of our bespoke Dapol 00 scale wagons. These were all models of actual wagons from local coal merchants.
Bruce and Gilbert tackled yet another (the second of four) fitted bolt on the LHS rock shaft. This is one of those tasks that slowly moves forward when there’s nothing else to do!
The RHS rock shaft has all four fitted bolts now. The shank of the bolt fits so tightly into the hole that it has to be hammered home. The bolt is inserted from the outside of the frames. In order to be able to hit the bolt head, when various bits of frame get in the way, we have made a special tool. This holds the (yellow) rod in place on the bolt head while the bar is being whacked, thus:-
Bruce points out that it took almost as long to gather together the correct set of tools (especially finding the correct size of expanding reamer; and then the right size spanner to adjust the expansion) as to ream the hole!
Other than that, I put a top coat on the beading around the front edge of the cab, where we had cleaned off rust and tidied it up.
Formal steam test on Monday !!! Warming fire needed on Sunday.