Friday 26 December 2014

Maintenance Update (chairs, springs, balancing)

Saturday 20th
Maurice received two Christmas cards today.  I took them down to the TPO for him.

Five issues raised by today's driver [AM]:
43: Excessive play in reverser catch.
44: Front damper control handle keeps jamming open.
45: Intermittent vacuum fault; slow to create and sudden dropping of train pipe.
46: Firebox cladding angles inside cab falling off; pop rivets splitting.
47: Safety valves blowing 10 - 20 psi light (or gauge misreading).

Sunday 21st
I noticed that Maurice has taken one of Gilbert's blue latex gloves.  Presumably he's volunteering to get stuck in and help us?

Three times I visited Winchcombe station to deliver boot scrapers to them!  Obviously a Christmas rush.  Once more, I am struggling to produce them at such a rate!  We are putting the price up to £40 next season.

No new issues from today's 2807 crew.

Monday 22nd
Winchcombe station re-stocked yet again!  They have sold 9 boot scrapers over this weekend.

Back at Todders, the shelf was empty, but I was able to finish making six more.  Also I had the delight of painting eight black bottoms.

Email received 7pm from Phil Cummings (Winchcombe Stationmaster): "Just to let you know we have sold out of scrapers."   Aaaaaagh!!!

Tuesday 23rd
8 am dash to Todders to collect the last six boot scrapers; then Tesco with the family; followed by delivering the six boot scrapers to Winchcombe station.  Back home for lunch.  Two hours spent after lunch at Todders applying primer to 8 rail chairs plus cutting 90 wooden wedges (to hold the brushes in the chairs' jaws).

Maurice had not bunged up his entrance - probably assumed no one would be down on a Tuesday. It must have come as a rude awakening when I started up the band-saw.  Poor little chap - I could just picture Maurice with his little paws in his ears !!!

No further issues raised on the loco's record card.

Wednesday 24th
11 am: Seized the opportunity to go for a bike ride via Todders.  It was a bit chill: sticky-out bits got a tad cold. (What???  Nose & ears, of course!).

Applied top coats to: five GWR/BR(W); two anonymouse 1939 black, plus one 1885 MR crimson. Reading one of the FLA's books while supping a coffee, I discovered that GWR did not start to convert from bridge rail to bullhead rail until 1894 - which explains why I have never come across a GWR rail chair dated before 1900.

4 pm: Called in at Winchcombe station to collect boot scraper sales money.

Thursday 25th
Two more issues reported:

48: Pep pipe leaking by handle nut.  [PG]
49: Front driver spring cross-beam at an angle; leading edge of springs at different heights.  Springs appear not to be broken.  [GF]

I grovelled underneath to take a look at the front springs.  It is true that the beam at the front is much higher on the left than on the right.  So much so that the end of the beam is actually hitting the frame. The left-hand front spring is also at an angle rather than horizontal (I suppose it has to be, to make the front beam at an angle!).  Because the front spring and the second spring are connected by a balancing beam, it is hard to know what the effect would be if any one of the adjusters is adjusted.  I wonder what would happen if we just turned round the front left-hand spring?

2807 is now rostered for Friday 26th and Monday/Tuesday 29/30th.  So, winter maintenance can commence on Wednesday 31st.

This will be eight steamings in December.


Saturday 20 December 2014

Maintenance Update (back in business!)

Monday 15th
Gil managed to get through to Tyseley, and was advised that the valves will be ready circa 3.30 on Tuesday.  Gil & I are going up to collect them and get them to Todders by Tuesday night.

I spent a couple of hours applying a top coat to heaps of rail chairs.  I need to get these ready for the coming weekend!

Tuesday 16th
Gil collected me circa 1.30 pm and we headed for Tyseley.  We arrived about 3 pm, but the valves weren't ready!  Bob Meanley entertained us: Gil looking at loco part drawings, me scouring the yard for spare rail chairs.  Finally, Alistair finished fitting the second one, and we were able to take them.. Apparently, they had great trouble drilling holes for the key slots in the ends of the rods, as we had had them hardened.  They broke several drill bits …   :-)

Anyway, we left there at 16:48 and arrived at a deserted Toddington at 6.30 pm.  We put the valves in the shed, each side of the loco ready for the fitters on Wednesday.

Wednesday 17th
When I arrived (after the Tesco run), I was getting into my gear when I discovered that a certain little resident has chewed off my boot lace!  Cheeky little beggar!

A team of seven of us [including John P, Mike W and Pete G from Loco Dept] spent all day (until 7 pm) fitting the valves and their cross-heads and sliders.  The montage depicts various stages of fitting the valves.

1. Each valve rod with its two valve heads was lifted onto the front running board, and inserted into the valve chest from the front.  The heads were liberally coated with thick green steam (aka cylinder) oil.

2. Some persuasion was required to move the valves into their chests, because the rings are purposely a tight fit.  John Pedley is seen here applying wood force to the end of the valve shaft.

3. When the rod reaches the far end (actually the rear cover) it has to be aligned to pass through the central hole (bush).  The carefully modified scaffolding pole is designed to enable one person to raise the shaft and move it up/down & left/right, following the instructions of the person who is peering into the hole in the rear cover to get it lined up.

4. Further persuasion is then required to pass the shaft through the rear bush.  The shaft needs to go a fair distance inwards to enable the front cover to be manipulated into place, there being many studs and bits of running board trying (successfully) to make it difficult.

5. A PTFE-type seal is then fitted round the front cover and it is a two-man job to position it over its studs.

6. When the cover is bolted in position the end cover (a bit like Pinocchio's nose) is fitted over the protruding end of the valve rod.  Just visible above the thumb on the red glove, there is an oiling point.  An oil-gun is needed to force steam oil into this and thence through holes in the bush onto the valve rod.  A five minute job … that took me half-an-hour.  The oil gun was empty.  I filled it.  It didn't work.  There appeared to be a part missing, so I took it apart (guided by John T).  Inside, I found a plunger with a chain & ring on the end (now covered in thick green oil).  Got it sorted, and successfully applied oil to the oiling point on both valve front covers.

7. Meanwhile, the valve rod seals were fitted into the rear covers.

8 & 9. Then the valve rod guide (the big lumpy thing with a pair of nuts in it) had to be raised on shims such that the valve rod cross-head (the shiny thing with a round bit, on top of the spindle guide) lines up with the valve rod centre line.  The rod is tapered, and is held in the cross-head by a tapered key (which is not visible in the photos, as it was the last thing to go in!).  The two nuts are on counter-sunk bolts that have a securing key that has to be slotted into its keyway, underneath.  When the right height is found, the pair of nuts are tightened and split pins pushed through the bolts just above the nuts. ** see Thursday!

The front running boards were refitted plus the curved valve access hatch flaps on both sides.

The LHS valve link (between rocking shaft hanging arm and the valve cross-head) was fitted, leaving the RHS side to be fitted on Thursday.

Thursday 18th
Jamie, Carpo and Danny tackled the remaining tasks.  The loco was gently moved to check that the valve heads don't hit the end covers … they don't!  [Phew!].

** When fitting the RHS valve link, one castellated nut didn't quite match up with the split pin hole.  [I think this was why the nut had been left slightly un-tight, and which Bruce had spotted recently].  Anyway, I assume Carpo inserted a washer and then skimmed a few thou off the nut to get a perfect fit.  Skimming created a burr.  When he tried to clean the thread with a suitable tap, he discovered that the thread was not "standard". I dashed round to Bruce to pick his brains - nothing found.  Bruce came over and joined in trying to figure out what the issue was.  It appears that the thread is just a few thou short of one inch Whitworth standard.  Carpo persuaded the nut to become exactly one inch Whitworth.

Much fiddling to get nuts and split pins aligned at each end of the valve link, and then it was time to test the RHS.

Danny struggled to move the reverser into full forward or full reverse - we decided that this was due to the tightness of the new valve rings.  It loosened up after a while.  It did reveal that the brasses in the rocking shafts are a tad worn !!!

Carpo pulled her forward [not on his own, obviously] to moans & groans from 2807.  Nevertheless, the RHS valves were OK.  So, 2807 was shunted round to Road 8, and Jamie & Danny lit a warming fire.

I snook into the TPO and finished off a few boot scrapers.  Then Bruce & I tidied away half-a-million tools that had migrated out to the shed during the refit.

I saw that Maurice had bunged his door up, again.  It looks as though he might feel more secure with his doorway closed, and then he opens it to pop out for his evening meal.  I must get to work on that mouse-flap!

Friday 19th
Pete Young [Loco Dept] re-lit a fire in the morning, and gradually brought her round to working pressure.  It was after lunch by the time she reached 180 psi.  Meanwhile ….

Gil tackled the oiling of everything (except the hydrostatic lubricator in the cab - Carpo did that).

Having seen the RHS rocking shaft rock when it shouldn't have, yesterday, I attacked it with a 1⅛ inch Whitworth spanner.  Surprisingly, the RHS nuts were already tight (but they're tighter now!).  A couple on the LHS were very loose, though.

I then cleaned the smokebox door and the running boards, assisted by Tim P. [Loco Dept].

We adjourned for lunch, and thereafter came the proof of the pudding.  The reverser is still very hard to heave into full gear.  Carpo eased 2807 forwards as Gil & I watched and listened.  Nothing untoward so far.  There was no steam leak from the LHS front cylinder cover that we had removed to inspect the cylinder bore.  Steam and water was happily dribbling out of all six drain cocks - however, the LHS centre one leaks steam via its little valve rod!  I recall that it was a very loose fit, when I was cleaning the drain cocks out.

Gradually, 2807 increased her distance, up & down the shed Road 8 and all seemed well.  Carpo took the opportunity to do a spot of shunting, as the 55xx is also in service on Saturday, and needed pulling out of the shed.

While they were playing, I snook back into the TPO to finish off more boot scrapers!  Gil came in and took the LHS cylinder front cladding to refit.  I gave him a hand, as it can be a challenge lining up the centre hole on your own.  Then Carpo decided to chuff up and down on Siding One, which gave 2807 a longer run.  Initially, she was coaled, but then she ran up & down several times.  This all helps bed-in the new valve rings, of course.

Anyway … job done!  She's in service over the weekend and up until Christmas Day.  I believe she'll be in service after Christmas for a while, too.


Sunday 14 December 2014

Maintenance Update (bushes, sleeves, gaskets)

Monday 8th
Applied a top coat to the 9 rail chairs that Alistair had primed on Saturday.

Tuesday 9th
I painted the gold lettering on the 9 chairs.  I thought that I better leave the other 15 (the ones with black bottoms) until Wednesday so that we have something to do.  :-)

Wednesday 10th
Bruce & Gil took the front covers off the valve chests.  These need to have new bushes fitted to match the new valve rods.  Gil had had the bushes made, and Bruce set about replacing them.  The first task was to extract the existing bushes; this went easy.  Then, after much measuring of new bush and hole in cover, Bruce attempted to fit the new bush - which is designed as a "press fit".

The fitting of the new bush did not go so smoothly.

Gil came along and he & Bruce attempted "Plan-B" to get it to fit.

This proved ineffective, too.  After picking up the correct new bush, Bruce made it fit relatively easily!!!

Thereafter, Bruce (with occasional assistance from me) cleaned the threads on the studs and the nuts on each cover.

Meanwhile, Gil had begun working on the studs on the valve chest by which these covers are attached.  Mike joined him, and together they cleaned all of the studs, front & back, on both sides during the rest of the day.

I spent most of the day fitting brushes to the 9 completed chairs and applying a primer coat to 7 green, 3 red and 1 black chair before running out of room and of black Deproma paint.  P-Way delivered 30 more chairs for me!

This morning, as a result of constructing his winter quarters, Maurice had left a pile of debris - which I hoovered up!  At some point circa 4 pm he must have slipped out and taken one piece of apple, and although I sat poised with camera for a while, his shyness prevented him from making centre stage today.

Friday 12th
Message from Phil Grange today to say that he had collected our chimney cap and ash pan rake from the NYMR. He will be dropping them into the GWSR at the earliest opportunity.

Saturday 13th
Gil had had new sleeves and bushes made for the rear valve covers, which he brought today.

He, Bruce and David fitted these lovely new and shiny bits into the rear covers.

Bruce made gaskets for the covers.

David & John cleaned and refurbished the nuts and replaced three seized studs for the covers. Jeff Lacey [Loco dept] cleaned the joint faces and oiled the valve liners.  Paul Gosney [Loco Dept] helped Gil fit the covers back on, with some assistance from a lead hammer swung by Neil {Loco Dept].

Bruce also re-fitted the drain pipe from the LHS valve chest to the centre drain cock.

Meanwhile, I began by cleaning off loose paint on the valve cladding, ready for a re-paint.  Then Steve & I pressed on with cleaning rail chairs to try to build up stock before Winter Maintenance diverts all effort onto the loco.

Which brings me to Carpo popping in … he would like 2807 to be back in service next weekend !!!

Geof also popped in to see us.  He has major heart surgery scheduled for Tuesday … those of a religious bent might like to say a prayer for him; the rest of us just wish him a successful outcome, and we look forward to welcoming him back just as soon as he's fit enough to wield a spanner!

Maurice had bunged his doorway up with rubbish again.  I hoovered it up, but Bruce suggested that Maurice might want his door hole bunging up.  After all, he's trying to sleep while we are hammering, needle-gunning and generally making a noise!  We had an idea - why not make him a "mouse-flap" (like a cat flap, but smaller)?  Then he can come-and-go, and it would keep some of the noise out.


Monday 8 December 2014

Maintenance Update (brass, chairs, links)

Thursday 4th
I had to pop down first thing to collect a boot scraper for an order.  When I arrived home, there was a telephone order for another one !

Then, I popped down last thing to paint the lettering on the four almost-completed boot scrapers (two of which are already ordered).  The F&W had sold 4 since the weekend, so I restocked them, which left just two completed boot scrapers on the shelf!

Fred called in, having made today a pseudo-Wednesday.  He and Ray had been working on the siphon restoration at Winchcombe.  While Fred and I were nattering, Maurice nipped out and grabbed his biscuit.  Fred volunteered to help with boot scraper manufacture on Saturday.

Friday 5th
I just popped down to finish off the four boot scrapers (two of which are already ordered).  JC called in because he's lost one of his vacuum reservoir connectors, and wondered if he had given Gilbert two by mistake.  There was some confusion because (I discovered later) Gil had left it sitting on the cab steps!!!  ….and it wasn't there now!  … but on Saturday, there it was with the other brass bits!!
How did that happen?  (photo shows brass connectors: water, steam heat & vacuum between loco and tender).  Bruce spotted it on Wednesday, and took it into the TPO for safety.

Feeling that Maurice was not receiving the best of diets, I decided to take him one grape and three chocolate raisins, for a change.  I took an apple (for me) and cut off a small bit just in case Maurice likes apple.  Does he like apple !!!  While JC was here, Maurice nipped out and snaffled the piece of apple!  As this appeared to be his preferred of the options, I put down two more pieces, and sure enough - they vanished PDQ!

Saturday 6th
I began the day by selecting some 16 rail chairs at Winchcombe, and leaving a pile of 10 for Fred to pick up, while I took 6 in my car over to Toddington.  It was so cold, that the chairs were welded to the ground, and when I prised them up and lifted them into the barrow, my glove became welded to the chairs too, much to the amusement of the P.Way chaps!  Fred had a trailer, so could carry more.

John and Alistair has responded to my plea for help making boot scrapers, and when I arrived at Todders, Alistair had already volunteered to do painting (as he's had recent experience at home) and John was attacking the chairs with the needle gun.  The gun was clearly not up to its usual self, struggling to beat the rust.  We discovered the problem - ice in the air line!

Fred had also responded to my plea, and when he arrived with his 10 chairs, he & I took over from John on cleaning rail chairs - Fred doing the wire-brushing and me doing the needle-gunning.

Alistair began by applying the primer coat to the 9 chairs that I had been working on since Wednesday.  Then he turned to the chairs that Fred & I were cleaning - Alistair having the pleasure of painting their bottoms.  As we couldn't keep up with his painting speed, Alistair also sanded and painted 10 brushes.

John, meanwhile, was supervising Gil in carrying out measurements on the valve slide mechanism, having discovered that his first set of results (last week) were inconsistent.  The two of them then tightened the LHS cylinder front cover.  They cleaned the two valve connecting links  and inserted the offset pins.

By end of play, we boot scraper team had finished up with 9 primed in green and a further 15 with black bottoms - a fantastic achievement!  I was truly grateful to Alistair, Fred and John for coming to my rescue.

Call me a tease, but following Maurice's obvious liking for apple, I put down the core of my one from lunchtime - let's see him drag that into his home !!!

Sunday 7th
I did pop in, but only to restock the Winchcombe station café.

Hopefully, the valve piston rings will be completed this week, and we can reassemble the loco.


Thursday 4 December 2014

Maintenance Update (Tyseley, valves, white metal, drain cocks)

Thursday 27th
David reports:
"I visited Tyseley today to take the valve crossheads for fitting to the new valve spindles. After cleaning these, and other items, yesterday we discovered that the white metal on one of the crossheads was coming away from the top surface. The crossheads were slid into the slide-way assemblies and were found to be extremely sloppy.

It was therefore decided to take both parts to Tyseley for advice, but that no action would be taken by them until Gilbert had spoken to them.

On showing Alastair the assemblies he agreed they were quite loose fitting, but said they could not remedy it at this stage as they did not know the exact position of the valve spindle bore in the crossheads relative to the position of the assembly when fitted to the main slidebars. He also thought that the wear on the slidebar brasses was much more on one side than the other, indicating a possible misalignment. He added that this might have contributed to the wear on the valve spindles. The assemblies may well also need some new brasses as well as white metal. The white metal on the lower surfaces, besides being rather full of cheese-like holes, was satisfactory.

He said that to effectively rework the sliding surfaces would require us to refit the slides to the main slidebars and put a wire centrally through the valve ports and measure accurately the offsets in both vertical and horizontal directions. We agreed at this stage I would return the slidebar assemblies to Toddington and probably, for the moment, leave well alone and bear this in mind for the future.

He commented that much of the work had been done on the valves and they will soon be ready for reassembly. He took the crossheads for assembly to the valve spindles."

I called in at Todders to pick up 6 boot scrapers in order to restock the Winchcombe trolley on Friday morning.

Friday 28th
Winchcombe restocked.

Saturday 29th
David returned the valve slide bars.  These need measure in situ to determine if the valve cross-head runs at the correct height for the valve rods.

David spent most of the day cutting the seat of the steam valve inside the ejector (in the cab).  John was helping by applying pressure to the cutter as David turned it.  Bruce commented on the groans coming from within the cab, and was not sure if it was the cutter or David!

Gil & Bruce removed the LHS cylinder cover to examine its innards.  Fortunately, no damage was evident.  Gil measured the internal diameter (on various axes) and determined that there had been normal wear, though we didn't know whether that is recent or not without checking against previous measurements.

Gil later reported: " the condition of the cylinder was fine. There were no scratches or grooves but it was seen that there was not a lot of lubrication in the cylinder. It was noted that there was significant clearance between the piston and the cylinder wall. Whilst the cylinder was accessible, the clearance was checked and found to be in the order of 0.175 which is within acceptable limits.

Dependent upon the readings at the time, it is anticipated that at the end of the 2015 season, we will have to give consideration to renewal of the pistons because of excessive clearance between the piston and cylinder wall. At the same time measurements were taken of the cylinder bores. When evaluated the readings were found to be inconsistent with previous results and will require re-checking during the winter shutdown."

Bruce spent some time measuring the valve cover, because these need to have new bushes fitted.  The style of ours doesn't seem to match either of the patterns for which we have diagrams (nothing new there!).  Consequently, Bruce has drawn up how ours actually is, and will then work out what needs to be done to get the new bushes to fit and make up to the "standard sized" valve rods.

I was conspicuous by my absence (except that I was there just after 9 am to feed Maurice, check boot scraper stock, as I have had three email enquiries, and restock the F&W; and again just after 3 pm to make sure the chaps were not slacking … and they weren't!).

Sunday 30th
I decided that the boot scraper stock is so low that I just had to make a start cleaning some more rail chairs.  I managed four during the morning.  When I got home, there was a message from Winchcombe station - they had only one boot scraper left!  A hasty lunch was followed by a second trip to Todders to pick up five more to take to Winchcombe station!

Carpo shunted 2807 into the shed (Road 8) - nice to be in the dry!

Monday 1st December
Two more orders!  Spent an hour just applying a primer coat to the four tops.

Last week, the F&W sold 8 boot scrapers.  On Friday, I put 6 in the Coffee Pot - by Sunday lunchtime, there was only one left !!

Tuesday 2nd
Another order!  Spent an hour applying a top coat.

Wednesday 3rd
Bruce has spent two-and-a-half days working on drawings for our valve covers and their bushes. Sometimes I wonder if there is truly such a thing as "Swindon Standard"; or maybe there was in GWR days, but it all fell apart under BR?  Anyway, Bruce & Gil pored over Bruce's final design plus instructions for the manufacture of the bushes and an additional sleeve (to return the hole to the correct diameter!).  They took the old bushes out, and Gil took the two rear valve covers off to get them brought up to spec.  He's using a local machine shop.

The LHS centre drain cock pipe that was blocked had been soaking in diesel for a week, and Bruce & Gil managed to clear it out, today.

There was a thought that possibly the valve had not been opening sufficiently, as all three are operated by the same rod.  So, Bruce modified the lever by adding a bit of "packing".  Someone welded it on (not sure who) for us, and Bruce refitted the rod.

The pipe was tested in situ using water, and that flowed happily, so then a good squirt of oil was injected into the valve's steam chest.

Finally, the short outlet pipe appeared to have been "inadvertently modified" (e.g. by clouting something), and Bruce managed to open its end out such that it almost looks circular again.

Meanwhile, I spent the entire day cleaning up rail chairs in a desperate attempt to get some stock available for the demand.  Well, I say "all day", I started by hoovering-up after Maurice, who had been playing with some polystyrene over night and left little white balls of it all over the floor!  Nine chairs are now sitting, black bottoms up, in the TPO.


Thursday 27 November 2014

Maintenance Update (valves, rings, lake)

Saturday 22nd
Graham joined us to work on 2807.  Several other people from the Loco Dept also joined in because it was so exciting!  There were enough people to work on both sides simultaneously - removing running boards, inspection flaps, valve covers, and finally the valves themselves.

The RHS came out first, and did not seem to be in a bad way.  The rear valve head was as dry as a bone, which supported Bruce's theory that the current lubrication method at the rear is ineffective. The liner does not appear to be scored at all, and only the smallest faults exist on the valve head rings.

When the LHS came out, you could see immediately the huge area of the front head's ring that had disintegrated (see photo).   Gilbert adds: "Subsequently, further examination revealed that the valve head was loose on the spindle and that the location nut had a crack adjacent to the taper pin hole."

Furthermore, there was a lake inside the valve chest.  There should not be standing water in here!  It transpired that the drain (down to the middle drain cock) was completely blocked.  It could have been the presence of this water that contributed to the head failure.

Gilbert continues: "The back cover was removed from the valve cylinder to enable the rear liner to be inspected, and to allow internal measurements to be taken for the back liner. As before, it was necessary to remove the auxiliary crosshead slide rails and the piston rod lubricator from the top of the Slide-bars in order to remove this cover."

Since we are half-way though the 10-year ticket (near enough) the decision was taken to get new rings and fit the new valve spindles (that we have already purchased).  The new spindles are case hardened to reduce wear - wear that we had discovered on the existing spindles a year ago.

Sunday 23rd
I popped down to paint some of the lettering on the chairs in the boot scraper production line. Maurice had pinched one of my cardboard notices (that says what colour to paint rail chairs) and had attempted to drag it into his hole!  It won't go in.  I left it - it will keep him amused.

Monday 24th
Gil, Bruce & I arrived at Todders circa 09.30, to load up the old valves plus the new valve spindles into Gil's car for taking to Tyseley.  Gil reports that after a brief consultation with Carpo and a chap from 5542 about wear and ovality, and if a re-bore is required, "the clear advice which emerged was to fit new rings to suit the existing measured bores. In view of the fact that we have run approx. 20,000 miles on the rings which have now failed, it was predicted that a set of replacement rings might well last until the expiry of the current boiler ticket".

Gil, Bruce & I loaded the old valves plus the new spindles into Gil's car, and he & Bruce set off for Tyseley.  David joined them at Tyseley.  Bob & Alistair Meanly (Tyseley) examined the valves and Gil says, "that they expected to be able to rebuild the valves onto our new valve spindles within a period of about two weeks.  David will collect the two auxiliary crossheads from Toddington on Wednesday and deliver them to Tyseley so that they can be fitted to the new valve spindles. This will help to position the valves relative to the crossheads and maintain the existing valve timing".

Tuesday 25th
Rain curtailed my gardening, so I popped down to fit brushes to chairs, and ensure we have enough ready to restock Winchcombe and Toddington for the Santa period - which starts this weekend!

Wednesday 26th
Bruce & David arrived first.  Bruce spent much of the morning with the chaps who were inspecting and approving (or not) all the lifting gear.  Pete [Loco Dept] joined us and started steam-cleaning various bits of the loco.  David had a go at cleaning the valve convers, cladding and the valve links - some of the paint went AWOL on the cladding as he did it!

I arrive mid-day, but seemed to do little before we broke for lunch.  The bits that David cleaned were moved into the TPO for safe keeping (and/or re-painting).  Bruce pored over diagrams and measured the seals in the valve covers.

Tyseley had asked for the valve spindle crossheads to be sent up to enable them to align the new valves exactly to the old ones, thereby maintaining the existing valve settings.  We figured that they might also need the corresponding valve slide bars for the crossheads, so David & Bruce took them all into David's car for transporting to Tyseley.

Mike & I tackled the LHS cylinder cover retaining nuts.  We want to inspect the cylinder liner to ensure no damage has been caused by the fragments of valve ring.  However, we couldn't remove the cylinder cover because it needs some lifting tackle.  Whilst our tackle is good for lifting, the release mechanism was seized, so it wouldn't lower!  David decided to have a go at unseizing it, and I assisted him (mainly by holding things as he hit them or squirted Plus Gas at them!).  It took some puzzling, but he did it!  And the Tackle Inspector was most impressed!

Finally, I assembled the last 5 boot scrapers before it was time to go.

Next Saturday, we should be able to remove the cylinder front cover; also the centre drain cock pipe needs cleaning out.  The old bushes need removing from the valve covers and the new ones fitting. So, there's still plenty to do!


Sunday 23 November 2014

Maintenance Update (chairs, rings)

Sunday 16th
I picked up half-a-dozen rail chairs from Winchcombe and took them to Todders.  Stumbled upon a 1940 one and recalled Jane mentioning getting a 1940 one for her father's birthday.  Painted six undercoats; fed the mouse, and buzzed off home.

Monday 17th
Toddled off to the surgery to drop a letter in, and on the way back happened to pass Jane's house.  So, I thought I might as well pop in and mention the 1940 rail chair.  Jane was quite excited about it. However, she's already got her father a Christmas prezzie, so could give it to him for his birthday in February. "Well, well", quoth I …. that 1940 chair happens to be February 1940 !!!  Jane exclaimed, "It was obviously meant to be!"

Todders was like the Marie Celeste!

One fresh issue raised, but is almost a repeat of Issue 37:  "Left rear drain cock not always closing" [IW];  (37 was left front drain cock sticking).  All drain cocks ought to be cleaned out, as it is likely to be grot inside jamming the valve.

Slapped a top coat on the six and then, joy-of-joys, had eleven black bottoms to paint!  Fed the mouse, and buzzed off home.

Tuesday 18th
Lovely day - sun shone; would have gone for a bike ride, but came down with a cold & sore throat on Monday.  Popped down to paint the lettering on the six, instead.  F&W was open, so I restocked the boot scraper trolley.  Fed the mouse. It started to rain, so buzzed off home.

Wednesday 19th
John tackled an issue whereby the ejector in the cab was sometimes leaking-by.  It was decided to remove the ejector front and examine the internals.  Removing the handle proved to be a something of a challenge, as it refused to come off!  Eventually (after lunch, I think) John won, and then once the thing was apart, it became obvious that the valve inside was not seating properly.  In fact, two high spots were visible, meaning that it was possibly only ever about half shut.

Bruce was concerned about 2807's beat, as it had chuffed up & down recently.  He puzzled over what might cause the beat to vary, and began examining all of the links and components in the valve gear. He discovered a loose nut, which led to the discovery of a loose taper pin connecting to the rocking shaft.

Bruce and Gilbert dismantled the links and mused over what the pin ought to look like (as opposed to what it does look like!).  It became clear that the taper part of the pin was loose in its tapered hole such that it was going in right tight up to the shoulder.  While the errant nut was tight, the shoulder was holding the pin OK, but the strain of the motion must have gradually loosened the nut.  Then the taper was not holding it rigid.

I decided that, since there had been two reports of cylinder drain cocks failing to close properly, the drain cocks needed to be cleaned out.  It is likely that grot inside the body is jamming the plunger.

Starting with the left rear (which was the most recent report) it became clear what had caused the problem - fragments of a piston ring (probably from the piston valve) were inside the body!  Not good news.  Even more not-good news was that I found a further fragment in the right-hand side … and the fragments could not migrate from one side to the other, which means there's a broken ring in both sides!

As B&G were already playing with the RHS valve gear, we decided to start by taking that valve out, so I started to remove the front cladding followed by the nuts securing the valve cover.  That's the easy part.  The rear cladding can only be removed after taking off an oil pot.  Meanwhile, B&G had removed the link between rocking shaft and valve rod.  By now it was 3.15 pm, and there was no way we would get the valve piston out before dark.  So, we decided to pack away and restart on Saturday.

However, this does mean that 2807 will not be in service for a few weeks (at best) … depending on what we find and what is needed to fix it.  We will not be in service again this year, so we might as well start on winter maintenance.

Thursday 20th
Nipped in to fit brushes to the six completed chairs.  We now have a few in case of late Christmas present requests.  Fed Maurice, of course.

Friday 21st
Slapped a primer coat on 7 green (GWR) chairs plus 4 red (BR. LMS & MR).

Saturday 22nd
We had heaps of help from Loco Dept guys, and removed both valves.  The LHS was badly disintegrated!  Also, it revealed that the LHS centre drain cock (drains the steam chest of the valve) was totally blocked.  I'll explain more + photos in a subsequent post, as there is already lots in this one.

Gil is going to contact Tyseley to see about getting new valves assembled.


Sunday 16 November 2014

Maintenance Update (welding, cleaning, painting)

Wednesday 12th
The major task of today was to patch up the gap in the ash pan.  Second to that was to couple the loco and tender, because she was due for service on Friday.

In order to do other things, the loco had to be over the pit, so Gil, Bruce & John helped to align the three links between loco and tender as the loco was pressed up against the tender buffers and the links engaged.

Once the loco was over the pit, carefully positioned so that there was room to clamber down the front of the pit and the water was drained out of the pit, Bruce & John were able to go underneath.  They hooked up the hoses (vacuum, water & steam heat) between loco and tender.

David had come down to do the welding on the ash pan.  To fill the width-wise gap needed several pieces of metal 17" wide and a couple of inches broad.  Because the split was on an angle above the damper door, this mean welding one piece vertically, one of the top (kind-of horizontal, and then more to bridge the uneven gap between them  Poor David spent most of the day inside the firebox doing the welding!

At some point, David found time to check the weld on the smokebox door handle.  It seemed that the handle had simple come apart from its boss, rather than having broken.  So, he tidied that up.

Meanwhile, Gil was on the footplate keeping an eye on David (in the firebox) and acting as gopher. In the attached, you can see that all of the rear fire bars had to be removed, and David was standing in the bottom of the ash pan to do the welding.  Because of the fumes, a big orange sucker had to be inserted, and Gil was in charge of the sucking.

Bruce and John sought out the marks that we had painted on the wheels & their tyres before going to NYMR to check that the tyres had not slipped on the wheels while up there.  Eventually, the marks were found (under the muck) and all is well.

Clive (Loco Dept) was so ashamed of the filthy state of the loco that he set to with brush and cleaner, and smartened up the wheels, cross-head and motion.

Where was I while this going on?  Ah, well, as it was not raining I decided to clean six rail chairs ….

As David was finishing welding and putting the fire bars back in, I was able to carry out the "standard" pre-light-up checks - Carpo was to do a steam test on Thursday, in readiness for operational use on Friday; this meant a warming fire was needed today!  Several nuts on mudhole doors were loose (as is commonplace), and there is a bit of damp in two corners of the firebox, but nothing else to worry about.

So, as soon as David was out, I laid a small fire in the centre of the rear section and set it alight.  The Yorkshire coal (still some in the tender) caught rapidly.  While the fire took hold, I went for a cuppa.  It was nearly 5pm by now.  While sitting in our TPO supping my tea and munching a couple of Chocolate Digestives, guess who should visit?  Maurice!  I've never actually seen Maurice before - only left out food for him.  He popped up through a hole in the floor; scurried behind the bucket (that catches rain ingress) and behind the radiator; and straight up to his food.  I'd left water plus two x quarters of Chocolate Digestive.  He didn't seem to be interested in the water, but grabbed a quarter biscuit in his mouth and scurried off out again!  He looked so funny carrying this relatively huge piece of biscuit as he scampered across the floor.  If only I'd got the camera ready … By the way, he's a field mouse.

By 5.30, the fire was settling down nicely, so I banked it up (though this coal contains an awful lot of slack); carried out the final checks, and left 2807 (and Maurice) for the night.

Friday 14th
The weather after noon was superb, so I pedalled off round the Cotswold hills; flew down Stanway Hill (touched 31 mph at one point), and called in at Toddington to feed Maurice.

2807 was sat over the pit, simmering away.  In the TPO, I put down some more biscuit, and then set to at my favourite job - painting black bottoms!

Just for the excitement of it, I also tackled a coil spring.  Now, how do you paint the inner surface of the coils?  That was a challenge set by JC.  I might just have cracked it - let's see how it looks tomorrow!

2807 whistled a couple of times (so it was on the move).  Word has spread around the yard that we have some feeler gauges, and a chap called Len, from the Manor group, popped his head in the TPO and asked for a borrow!  Maybe we should instigate a lending system - card operated, like libraries used to do some decades ago?  Also need to weld the symbols "2807" onto everything that's moveable!

Saturday 15th
There were no new issues listed on the log following yesterday's race train, and 2807 was again in service on Saturday.  Bruce kept an ear out as she went by, just to make sure that everything sounded OK.

As there was nothing else for us to do and the weather was fine, we tackled a few more rail chairs.  We forced ourselves to stop at eleven chairs - mustn't set expectations too high!

Apart from that, I completed painting the spring in red primer.  JC delivered some pipe couplings to fit the tender/loco water/vacuum connections and make it easier to disconnect (and connect up) when parting the loco from tender.  Len returned the feeler gauges plus gave us a photo of 2807 taken at Shrewsbury and suggested we go to the SVR's photo/postcard event in January.

Just as I was leaving, Cliff mentioned that since we had the Tyseley work done on 2807 she is the best engine in the Toddington fleet to drive!  Praise indeed.


Monday 10 November 2014

Maintenance Update (NYMR, ash pan, link, Maurice,

Anyone notice how the only references to NYMR's gala in Steam Railway magazine featured 2807?  See page 109 in November's edition.

Defects recorded (by NYMR) when she arrived back at Toddington were:
- Cab step bent due to winching loco & tender together.
- Brake blocks thin.
- Fire bars badly burned & warped.
- RHS piston packing blowing.
- Rear ash pan screen heat damaged.
- Slacker pipe (AKA "pep" pipe) blowing by.
- Vacuum brake sometimes draws 25/25 instead of 22/25.
- Sounding off beat at times.

Saturday 8th
It rained.  2807 was over a pit, but you couldn't get into the pit because 2807 was over it.  In due course, Mark Young came and did some shunting for us.  Plan A was to squeeze loco & tender together using the shunter to push and handbrake + chocks to hold the tender.  The whole thing just slid along the wet & greasy rails!  Plan B then pushed loco & tender up to coaches in the siding and use them to squeeze up against.  That worked, then loco was pulled back over the pit, leaving room to clamber down the steps into the pit … which was full of water.

Before this I had slid into the firebox to check out the fire bars and clean out the ash.  I had to get out and assist with the shunting, but then scrambled back inside again (at least it was dry in there!).  There were two bars missing and one too badly worn to use, so we had to replace these three.  There were two suitable ones at the side of the pit and the third was on the tender … down the siding.

While in there, I could see that the rear section of the ash pan had gone all religious.  Gil got underneath to confirm that there is an enormous hole running the width of the rear section.

The excitement of the day, however, was unbending the bent link.  Bruce The Sleuth figured out that NYMR had failed to get the pin through the slot in this linkage, resulting in the link becoming jammed against the pin and as the loco traversed pointwork, the link was bent .. first one way, and then the other.  So, 2807 had run the whole time without this link in place between loco and tender.  Clive acted as Lucifer, while Bruce (after training from myself) was pyrotechnician (i.e. lit the flame).  We ran out of oxygen … took the empty cylinder back to the cage … there was no new full cylinder there!  Clive found one from someone who had been using it but had gone to lunch, so heating recommenced.  Well, once he (or was it John) found the reset switch on the gas blow-back-prevention-valve, that had triggered when the flame exploded because of the oxygen problem.

Anyway, the three of them managed to straighten the link and also open out the slot at the one end where the damage had caused it to close up a shade.

Meanwhile, feeling a tad spare, John & I retired for lunch.  While make the drinks, I noticed that the three pieces of chocky biscuit that I put down for Maurice first thing this morning had disappeared!  While we were in the workshop, Maurice had taken his biscuits.

When the link cooled down, Bruce discovered that the slot was still not wide enough on its full length, so while he & Gil & John went back to check underneath the loco, I opened out the gap and then slapped black paint on the link.  BG&J reported back that they could see nothing amiss.  One NYMR comment about the leaves of one spring being out of alignment didn't seem to be a problem.  They couldn't see the marks that they had painted on the wheels & tyres before going to NYMR - this had been done to check that the tyres had not slipped round the wheels due to the heavy haulage while at NYMR.

I remembered that I had only loosely fitted the nuts to hold the bell cover in place, so went and tightened those.  And that was about it for the day.

At the Winchcombe end, Colin reports:

" I thought that we would go and help Fred at the siphon today as everyone might be getting 2807 back to working order after its holiday, and right I was - Fred was on his own, outside with rain running on him trying to fit a strip of wood by the recently fitted door post.  In the end he gave up as it was raining so hard, so he started measuring up the first of the new door frames ready for cutting.

Ann had a very bad cough.  Although willing, she thought it would be better not to breath in the paint fumes and the dust that Fred created working on the door frames so she sat in the car with the dog.

I started painting in the corner nearest Toddington that had first been repaired with an off-white paint which will be close to the finish we want unless someone knows that it should be a different colour -- rose pink perhaps!

Anyway it took two, sometimes three, coats to cover the dark brown and dark grey we had put on as undercoat.  In the event it now looks pretty neat; it's all one colour and amazingly light and is really beginning to look the part .

It did dry up later and Fred carried on outside and I  finished early to take the patient home into the warm.  How the guys on the engine handled the rain I cannot imagine: it was horrible well done them!"

Sunday 9th
Before the Remembrance Day Parade in Winchcombe, I nipped down to Todders to paint the other side of the missing link.  The loco had been pushed up against the tender, but not coupled.  She was also being drained of the remaining Yorkshire water.

We will press on on Wednesday, and get her ready for service on the race day trains.


Wednesday 5 November 2014

2807 comes home!

Monday 3rd
I popped down for an hour to complete our stock-taking.  Our Teddy Bears were disguised as FLA books, hidden in boxes on the FLA shelf!

While there, I painted lettering on the chairs and then assembled some of the boot scrapers.  With the railway closed for November, I would not expect to sell many boot scrapers …..

Tuesday 4th
Brian received news plus a message from NYMR:

Brian comments: " I think the email below is an amazing acknowledgement of what CSPL has done, and continues to do, to keep GWR2807 in service.

Feeling  proud, very proud!"

The message from NYMR: " I have to say we are sorry to see 2807 leave, it has been a big hit with all concerned, from crews to shed staff and to our ops people as a model of reliability and a real horse for our demanding course. I believe Clive and others have extended the invitation to make another visit in the future. You will be very welcome."

Shortly followed by:

Brian (again): " I have just heard that Allelys have turned up today to pick up 2807. Clive and I have delayed them from loading the loco until after 3pm today. she will be back at the GWSR sometime tomorrow 5th Nov!"

Wednesday 5th
GWSR has asked that 2807 be positioned facing south when she returns.

I arrived circa 10.30, and 2807 was already tucked up in the yard.  I resisted the temptation to go and have a look, because brushes needed sanding and painting for boot scrapers.

By 12.30, being on my own, I figured I might as well go home, so switched everything off and headed for the car park …. whereupon I spied a tender with Clive clambering all over it, doing an inventory; So, I felt obliged to join in!

We searched all the nooks & crannies and found most of the things that went up to NYMR with 2807, but we couldn't find: chimney cap, short rake, coal pick, hand brushes, broom.  It transpired that Brian had already brought the coal pick back (possibly too dangerous to leave one with a Yorkshireman .. dunno?)

The only visible damage is to one of the links that connect the tender and loco.  It would appear that a heavy bit of shunting once the loco and tender had been separated caused the one link to get jammed up against the buffer, and become mildly modified in profile.

There's quite a list of issues found, but many of them were trivial and  fixed at NYMR.  They bent the RHS cab step by using a winch to pull the tender and loco together to couple them up when she arrived there.  You wouldn't notice unless it was pointed out.  Quite how they managed to break the handle on the smokebox door is a mystery, as it is the handle that locks the dart in place, and needs no force to turn it … provided you've undone the outer (locking) handle!

They lost a couple of the R-clips that are used to secure the ash screens in place .. despite us chaining them to the ashpan so that they couldn't lose them!  :-(

There's not a lot of meat left on some of the brake blocks!  In fact, on the record sheets, they had to adjust brakes quite often.

Bruce popped in out of curiosity, and spent ages inspecting various bits -especially the lubrication of the cylinder valve spindles (which is different on each of the 3 GWR locos at Toddington!).  We think that the lubrication pipes on the rear of ours are ineffective because they drip oil too far away from the gland to ever reach it during normal rod movement!  Anyway, that on the RHS of the Manor looks as though at best it will only lubricate one side of their rod.

I found the bell housing - it was in a toolbox.  I have loosely fitted it, just to keep the weather out of the pony pivot pin.

According to the NYMR record sheets, 2807 did 30 steamings up there (excluding the steam and clearance test before their gala).

… sold one boot scraper.

All hands to the loco on Saturday, then?


Sunday 2 November 2014

Feedback from NYMR, and bootscrapers

Feedback from NYMR via Brian:
"I have spoken with the NYMR most days this week to arrange the return dates in November. This has been confirmed as 5th Nov loaded onto the lorries at the NYMR to be returned to GWSR on the 5/6 November.

The loco has run every day without major issues since 20/10/2014.

A couple of little maintenance issues:

-    The handle for the smoke box became detached, broken weld - This has been welded by the fitters and is reported as all OK

-    A lubrication line became detached. this has been fixed and all others check with no issues.

I have spoken with the NYMR team at various time since the 20th and with Clive Goult today. They are very pleased with the loco and threatening to keep it and send the a blue A4 in replacement and hope we don't notice!"

And re the Mid Hants Railway: " asked about 2807 going to them in the near future may be this time next year for the Autumn Gala. They had seen the you tube footage of 2807 and some of their team had seen her perform at the NYMR too. And the Nunney team helped by saying that 2807 was a very very impressive loco!!"


Monday 27th
An hour's boot scraper painting.  Almost got caught out by the clock change - it gets dark early, and I've no lights on my bike!  I could hear the Manor whistling in the distance - presumably a charter?

Wednesday 29th
Miserable weather, so Bruce & I continued with the painting.  When I arrived home, there was a message to say that the café on Winchcombe station had just sold their last boot scraper!

Thursday 30th
The F&W had sold five by this morning, so a bit of frantic assembling of boot scrapers was necessary, and re-stocking the two cafés.

Saturday 1st November
Bruce arrived early and painted a top coat on the rail chairs in the production line.  I boxed up two completed boot scrapers, and the two of us tackled a Stock-Take of our sales items.  As we have no one who is willing to run our sales stall, we are closing down the CSPL Sales operation, and I hope that we can persuade the GWSR shop to take some items off of our hands.  I think it will take them a while to sell the 500 2807 postcards that we seem to have!  We gave up counting pens (they appeared from several places) and just estimated there to be >80.  All of the bears had gone AWOL.  We couldn't find them anywhere!  Gilbert thinks that they are hiding in cardboard boxes, so I'm off on the hunt tomorrow.

Steve turned up after his FLA meeting and assisted with the stock-take.  Richard (FLA) popped in to pick up the pile of coins that staff at the Coffee Pot café had saved for us during the year.  There were 775 coins (I ought to set a quiz: how much do you think they added up to?).

As far as we know, 2807 operated successfully today at NYMR, and is scheduled to be in service on Sunday - the last day of their season.

2807 is expected to be back here on Thursday; and Saturday we shall be concentrating on fixing things that we don't know about yet!  She's down to do race trains a week later, so there may well be minor issues to clear up over the forthcoming weekend.  See you then?


Sunday 26 October 2014

NYMR and steam test

Friday 17th
Following the wash-out and consequential change of seal on mudhole doors, there was a steam leak from one door during the steam test.

Monday 20th
Brian reports:
" The loco had a fire put in it overnight and they are bringing it up to pressure today. It has pressure on the clock already [i.e. at 09.15 on Monday] and no issues so far from the new mud hole door seal. If all goes OK then she will go straight into service. 

They have major motive power issues with locos away at the ELR as well as other steam and diesel failures. Chatting to the team up there today they are 99% certain she will run every day until the 31st Oct. They would love her to run till the 2nd Nov when their season ends but she is due on a truck on the 3rd to come back to the GWSR and I have requested she is allowed 2 days to cool before the move."

6.22 pm: "Steam test all good and back into service today!

They feel she will run every day now until and including 31st October."

Tuesday 21st
Update from Brian:
" Bruce pointed out to me that race trains are not until 14/15 Nov. I have emailed Carpo and he is OK with the following:

The loco stays at the NYMR so they can use it to the season's close on 2 Nov;
Two days cooling down 3/4 Nov;
The loco is put on a truck(s) 5/6 Nov to come back to the GWSR in plenty of time for 14/15 Nov and race trains."

Wednesday 22nd
Bruce and I attacked the rail chair pile once more.  I frantically painted and fitted brushes to make room for the ones Bruce was needle-gunning and wire-brushing.  By end of play, we had 7 with their bottoms in the air, painted black.

Over tea & biscuits, Bruce & I mused over the lubrication of the front of the valve spindles.  There was no lubrication on 2807 originally.  The spindle wore down.  So, we devised a method of injecting lubrication into the bearing.  But this is non-standard.  Even crews familiar with GWR locos would not think to apply lubrication, because it is not a visibly obvious lubrication point.  Bruce dug out drawings and we pored over the variety of different designs (none of which fitted 2807).  In the end, we thought that an oil pot on the running board, close to the steam pipes, would be obvious and would get filled.  However, there will be steam pressure in the valve system, which would blow the oil out (rather than suck it in).  So, the oil pot would have to be steam tight.

Cutting a long story short, we bounced the idea off Carpo, who said that, before we do anything, let him have a think because he has a similar problem with the 42xx.

But in any case, the brass sleeves we have had made only have one hole for the oil to go into, and they should have three holes.  Also, according to the diagrams, they should have a channel for the oil to dribble down from the holes to the spindle.

Thursday 23rd
Brian reported:
"Just good news from NYMR

The loco has been back in service since Monday and has performed without issue!! 

I have spoken with the NYMR most days this week to arrange the return dates in November. This has been confirmed as 5th Nov loaded onto the lorries at the NYMR to be returned to GWSR on the 5/6 November."

Saturday 25th
John, Bruce and I tackled more boot scrapers - I'd had a telephone order for 4 during the week!  Just for a change, John did the painting: 7 chairs primed; 3 glossed and 8 black bottoms!  … plus two yellow chocks and 18 brushes varnished.

Carpo popped in to chat more with Bruce about the lubrication of the valves.  The problem is how to ensure oil gets to (and stays on) the shaft as it wangs in & out?  The key to it all is getting oil into the brass bearing bush.  We are not convinced that any of the options on the GWR drawing are brilliant.  Carpo's latest idea is to fit a mechanical lubricator.  This could be hidden between the frames, driven off the valve gear somehow, and pump oil to each end of both valve rods.  C & B have gone away to think more about it.


See here for 2807 with a freight train from Grosmont to Goathland.


Thursday 16 October 2014

Yet more of 2807 at the NYMR

Monday 13th
Peter Nicholson wrote:

"Thanks for the latest news. Would love to have got up NYMR of course, but just wasn't possible. 

Steam Railway may not have had any pics but the on-line, paid-for  Railway Herald this week certainly has. Two superb shots including the back 'cover' i.e. last page.

Not sure if single copies can be downloaded as I have a year's sub, but ref to this issue is:    (issue number 427)"

Brian reported:
" As of today 2807 has completed 15 steaming's at NYMR. With the 19 completed after the last wash out at GWSR before going north she is currently resting at this time.

Clive Goult has made the request to use 2807 every running day possible while she is at the NYMR but is fully compliant that the loco has reached washout limit and needs maintenance accordingly.

Ian Carpenter the GWSR BRP [Boiler Responsible Person]  is currently discussing, with Clive, the actions required to get the loco unboxed, washed out, inspected, boxed up and tested. Carpo has requested to be present at the NYMR for the inspection and boxing up.

Ian C has asked me to tell our board that the NYMR is a challenging line and that the loco will come back needing maintenance. Rest assured though Clive would not be running the loco unless it was fit to run……….they have a “fitter” inspect the loco at the start and end of every day."

Gilbert concurs: " I am expecting to have to do some work when the loco returns to Toddington. Probably the piston and valve glands."

John & Teresa Tyler supplied the video linked here:

Notice the difference between 2807 and Nunney Castle pulling away with their loads!

Me? I just nipped down to Todders to paint a few bottoms.

Wednesday 15th
Gilbert & I worked on boot scrapers.  I allowed Gil the privilege of painting both tops and bottoms, today, while I played with the needle-gun and wire-brush!

As 2807 is resting this week, there will be no more feedback until after the weekend, so here's as far as it goes.

Note that it is our AGM on Saturday, at Toddington village hall from 11.00, followed by a meeting of the Board members.  So, if you have anything to raise, ask or comment upon, now would be a good time to mention it.



Tuesday 7 October 2014

More from the NYMR, and elsewhere

Wednesday 1st
Bruce and I diligently attended Todders … and set to, preparing rail chairs!  By end of day we had cleaned ten.

Stuart provided a couple of clips of 2807 Up North:

Thursday 2nd
I thought how quiet it was at Todders - hardly a car in the car park …. There are no services on Thursday, now, are there!

Ten black bottoms done.

Friday 3rd
At least someone was playing with 45.149, going through Todders towards Laverton.

Gold writing completed on the seven boot scrapers that were nearly complete.

Saturday 4th
Bruce and I (again!) braved the rain.  Plenty of painting to do; so Bruce applied the primary coat to the ten chairs' tops, while I scrubbed up and painted ten brushes.  Finally, I fitted brushes to the seven.

While searching for the missing hose clip (before 2807 was loaded onto the lorry to go to NYMR) Bruce noticed that quite a lot of keys had fallen out of rail chairs on Roads 2 & 3.  Since my Grandfather was a platelayer, I decided to walk in his footsteps and, armed with the big sledgehammer-thing, I walked the length of the sidings and whacked lots of keys back in place. Some of the wooden ones were pretty useless, but I didn't have any metal ones at hand to replace them with.  Anyway, it felt good, so I then called it a day!

We were wondering how NYMR were getting on, using 2807 in the rain !!!  I hope they find the canvas cab cover … and the sticking-up things for the sides of the tender to which the canvas attaches.  :-)

Monday 6th

No feedback yet from NYMR workings this week, apart from Stuart:
"2807 steamed all weekend and according to today's timetable has steamed again today."

and his 100 Club:
"The  September 2014 Draw has been made a few days late. I took the numbers bag to the NYMR at Pickering Station on Sunday 5th October and met Richard Rathbone, the 2807 FLA Secretary who was handing out FLA leaflets. He agreed to do the draw whilst standing alongside 2807 on Platform 2.  Photo will be in the December 2807 News.".

I called in at Todders to put a top coat on the ten chairs.  I suspect that Maurice has called in to check that his winter quarters are still available … I'll keep you posted!

See for 6 minutes exclusively of 2807 at NYMR up to Saturday 4th.

You can tell that she's really enjoying it (on the first clip, particularly).


Tuesday 30 September 2014

From our roving reporters at the NYMR

Monday 29th
Stuart reported:
"I attended the NYMR Gala as a 2807 Support Staff member, arriving Thursday afternoon and got back home 10pm last [Sunday] night. I am struggling to come up with an expletive that will adequately express how much of an excellent time I had. My Grateful Thanks to our Brian G, who sorted out a brilliant spot for me to set-up with my camper van directly behind Grosmont Station. I printed and took with me 400 hand-outs, which I had amended and updated specifically for the NYMR.

Over the 3 day event, I only rode on 2807`s trains, speaking with hundreds of passengers and at the stations I handed out the leaflets which on almost every occasion, required me to give a short history of our loco. I can honestly say that currently my voice is somewhat tired, but without exception everyone was very interested and many were unaware of either the Glos Wark`s Railway or where it was, so I therefore have been an ambassador for them and us.

On the Saturday on Grosmont Station, I actually met 2 people from Evesham who had come up to see 2807 and who are great fans of our loco and the Glos Wark`s railway. Another chap I met, who was from Cheshire, had actually bought stuff from our stall at the July Bus Rally.

I personally handed out 350 Leaflets and was permitted to distribute the other 50 in waiting rooms etc., on the NYMR. I am now hoping that with them, I have planted some seeds which will bring us and the GWR some financial benefits. 

All the NYMR staff were very hospitable and friendly and have fallen in love with our loco and in fact are planning to kidnap it. The drivers and firemen all had smiles reaching further than ear to ear and were totally impressed with 2807`s power and the ease it attacked the famous bank incline whilst pulling 7 coaches full to capacity with not even any standing room left.

On 1 of the trips, Brian G rode in a coach with me, whilst he had a break from the footplate, and we had to squeeze in a corner at a door to be able to make the journey. I took some short videos with my digital camera with sound when we were on some of the sections and I just hope that when I play them back on my laptop, they look and sound as good as they were. If they are suitably good enough, I will put some on YouTube and somehow get them to Steve for our website.

During the weekend, I met up with Roy and Audrey Gamlin who were representing the 2807 FLA and had some of their leaflets with them as hand outs. Ian Bromley was there for the full event and we had several journeys together and a meal at the Station Tavern next door to Grosmont Station. On the Sunday, John Tyler and his wife were at Grosmont Station awaiting a trip on 2807, also on the same day I met 2 lads who were from the East Lanc`s Railway. one of them was a fireman there and after his journey on 2807 he said to me with a smile, "I see what you mean, the loco is powerful and the sound is awesome".

All in all, I think you will have gathered that I had a good time and that 2807 performed flawlessly, effortlessly and impressively."

Tuesday 30th
The following report arrived from Brian:
"The first weekend of 2807 at the NYMR has been a massive success!

All the NYMR team are hugely impressed with the loco, the standard of maintenance, and performance. This is great credit to our CSPL team and the continued work to keep the loco in running order.

I had some wonderful comments on Sunday evening from the Chief Engineer of Nunney Castle praising the performance of the loco also.

They are so pleased with the loco that on Sunday and again Monday I was asked if they could use her on more days than stated in the contract, this I agreed to with Clive Goult loco dept head.

The loco was actually used on Monday 29th Sept and Clive will be contacting me requesting permission for further days soon.

At the request of Ian Carpenter, later this week they will be replacing the fusible plugs as they are near the “end of the boiler life”

Gil is going up this weekend and Paul Richardson of the loco department will be up as loco rep the following weekend for the War Event."

Subsequent to this, Brian said that NYMR want to use 2807 on extra days - like, Wednesday to Sunday this week!  … and they've fitted new fusible plugs already, in anticipation!

Is this good, or is this brilliant???  We all have every right to be proud of our engine, don't you think?!


Sunday 28 September 2014

2807 at the NYMR

As & when reports from NYMR reach me, I will distribute them.

Just to catch up on new issues logged while still at Todders:

35: RH flange lubricator spring broken.  {Bruce removed the spring, took it home and repaired it.  He refitted it before the trip to NYMR}.

36: Small blow from RH clack.

37: Left front drain cock started blowing for 1/2 day then sorted itself.  {Likely cause is a bit of grot stopping the valve from closing fully.  No action taken (since it "sorted itself") but it would be good to dismantle and clean all drain cocks in due course}.

38: Coal watering valve continuously leaking water.  {Unclear if this was from the valve itself or from the pep pipe (which we know about = caused by a leak in the clack valve, creating pressure in the pep pipe}.

39: Back RH firebars to be changed - buckling.  {See 41.  We changed 3 fire bars before going away}.

40: Ejector still blowing through.  {We have not had the opportunity to remove the ejector and fix it.  It may have to stay like that either until November, or even until winter maintenance}.

41: Rear middle fire bar dropped into ashpan during day.  {It was badly burned away such that the end was disintegrating.  We replaced it before going to NYMR}.

Tuesday 23rd
I called in at Todders circa 2pm and the loco was still in the yard.  I couldn't stay and wait for the low loaders.

Mark Young heard that the lorry arrived circa 8.45 pm (so I'm glad I didn't wait for it!).

Wednesday 24th
Tesco day for me, so I didn't get to Todders until 11.00.  2807 had gone by then.  Gil & Fred saw the loco & tender en route as they drove to Todders/Winchcombe.  The lorries pass right by Bruce's house, so he noted the loco leaving at 9.10 and the tender some 20 minutes later.

I did a couple of hours on boot scrapers, as no one else came.

Brian later reported from NYMR:

" Loco arrived safely at 6pm this evening"

Thursday 25th
Stuart has driven up to Grosmont, to watch her over the weekend.

Friday morning: received this photo from Brian of Sir Nigel ("Greasy") Gresley, which had the honour of standing alongside our engine.

Saturday 27th
Bruce told me that he hadn't got away on Monday as quickly as he imagined.  He spent some time cleaning off the coal dust and grime that collects on the tender below the coal space - particularly on the vacuum cylinder.  He also noticed that the hoses linking to the loco had no clips on them, and upon checking the toolbox, found one … where was the other?  So, Bruce set off retracing the movement of the tender, and walking along the track found it - just about as far down the line as it could have been!

Anyway, I called in at Winchcombe and picked up 7 rail chairs to take to Todders.

Bruce arrived at Todders moments before I did.  We started on building up boot scraper stock - I finished off 4 in the pipeline; Bruce began needle-gunning and wire-brushing more chairs.

Gil turned up at 10.30 and started helping Bruce.  Then it was tea break.  I restocked the F&W and then started cutting bolts of rail chairs.  However, at 12.15, Gil buzzed off - he went for a ride on the train!!!

After lunch, Bruce & I pressed on and had cleaned 7 rail chairs by 2pm, when Gil turned up again!  Bruce & I both wanted to leave early, so Gil didn't even have time to get into his overalls before we started packing away.

On the way home, I delivered Bob's refurbished LNER boot scraper (painted in garter blue).

On the Internet there are a few pics of 2807 at NYMR: is at Grosmont; This video shows various engines, and 2807 is briefly at 7:40 but significantly from 8:03 to 8:40 (i.e. right at the end - they left the best 'til last!). shows 2807 from 2:05 through to 3:24 (again, leaving the best until last) on the 11.37 train from Grosmont to Pickering on Saturday.  [Steve Price found this]. 2807 hauling a Grosmont - Pickering service at Moorgates on 26.09.14 [Thanks to Michael Howard for finding this one].

Sunday 28th
I popped in to Todders after a bike ride, to paint some bottoms - but Bruce had done them before he went home on Saturday!!!

Another vid from Steve:
(we get two shots - right at the star, but then particularly good from 5:10 to the end).