Wednesday 24 June 2015

Maintenance Update (Henry, noticeboard, pony, hanger)

Weekend 20th and 21st
It was Thomas The Tank Engine weekend, so (as predicted) no one went to Toddington.  Anyway, 2807 was in service (still) as Henry.  Thomas was very poorly and had to be assisted by 4270 all of the time, so we were holding the fort between Cheltenham and Winchcombe all day each day.  On Sunday, Ray O'H (firing Thomas) said he was keeping him at 90 psi so that he could blow the whistle!  I noticed that his left-hand injector was permanently piddling.  The 04 shunter was playing with the Troublesome Trucks at Toddington, and laying a trail of sand up & down the track from its LH sandbox (it sure was, I was on it all day Saturday - Steve).  Driver SO threw a very public wobbly at a certain photographer who was standing in the middle of the track trying to get a full-on photo of Thomas approaching.  :-)

Gil & Fred went to Winchcombe on Saturday to continue with siphon restoration.  I took the time to re-do our noticeboard.

Wednesday 24th
Much to our surprise, 2807 was still in service!  There are a few new issues raised since last week:

32 [JCh]: LHS pony truck axle (inside) running hot. No oil in axlebox underkeep at end of day.

33 [JCh]: Vacuum pump release valves (both ends) hot.  {Now, we can't see how this can be, because they don't move (well, they open & close only) and the pump only pumps air.  So, they let air out to enable the creation of a partial vacuum.  So, "hot"???}

34 [JCh]: Pin holding reverser release handle to reverser has fallen out.  {replaced with a bolt.  Needs correct pin.}

35 [JCh]: Hole in front vacuum hose.  {Hose replaced}

36 [MY}: Rivets to both die blocks loose.  {We knew LHS one was loose, but only this winter replaced the RHS die block!}

37 [MY]: LH trailing tender underkeep T bolts loose.  {Nuts tightened & all checked}

38 [MY]: RH rear brake hanger (on loco) top pivot nuts loose.  {Nuts tightened.  Others OK}

As 2807 was still chuffing up & down, there was little to do but boot scraper production.  John G got stuck in to painting chairs - tops & bottoms.  By end of play, he'd painted about 14!

John T wielded the needle-gun and wire brush, cleaning random rail chairs.  Bruce assisted him during the afternoon.

I sanded and stained 12 brushes, and then applied black enamel to two rail chairs.

The two Johns and I assembled the noticeboard and fitted it back into position in the car park.  A gentleman from Milton Keynes was reading it as I left (so it was worth doing!).

Bruce investigated issues 27 & 32 concerning the pony truck during the morning, but despite clambering beneath the 42xx couldn't see what the cause of it running hot might be.  But until we can get beneath 2807 (when it stands still long enough!) it is hard to guess.

Oh, Gil was around (from time to time); but went for a ride on the footplate (ostensibly to check issues 32 & 33).  Also, Geof popped in to say "Hello", having discovered that there was no one working on the siphon today.

It would appear that 2807 is in service until the end of this month.  The 55xx will join it over this weekend (but was having a wash-out today).  So, the Saturday work party would best focus on the siphon restoration at Winchcombe … or else will be assigned to rail chair painting!


Wednesday 17 June 2015

Maintenance Update (regulator, DOWT)

Saturday 13th
John Tyler reports (on his lone presence at Toddington):
" I was at Toddington on Saturday, in the expectation of better weather! However the morning weather was adequately fair to clean four chairs before lunch. Afterwards as the weather had deteriorated, I used the air-chisel on some encrusted chairs, painted the four bottoms and then went home.

I'd earlier helped Carpo find our regulator spindle support jig, but it wouldn't fit 5542, so that's something we've learnt! "

Sunday 14th
As things stand today, Carpo is struggling with the 55xx.  Therefore he is planning on running 2807 during the week and also next weekend (which is the Thomas weekend).

Therefore, activities at Toddington on Weds & next Sat are expected to be associated with the production of boot scrapers (unless you want to help out elsewhere in the department).

Wednesday 17th
The 55xx went away (for the weekend).  2807 is holding the fort!

Bill arrived first, shortly followed by Bruce.  For want of something to do, we attacked a few rail chairs.  Bruce was needle-gunning them; I was wire-brushing them, and Bill painted their bottoms!

We did 6 today (to add to John's 4 from Saturday) and called it a day.

New issues raised:
27 [AM] Pony truck pivot pin very loose; excessive play.

28 [AM] All eccentric straps losing oil via felt pads (dry after 2 trips).

29 [AM] LHS big end has excessive side play. w{hite} metal warm {or maybe "worn"?} on outer face.

30 [AM] RHS big end has excessive clearance in bore, knocking badly.

{Interestingly, three days after this latter issue was raised, the Inspection sheet signed by the crew of JP, JC and NC ticked everything as "OK" and fit to run!}

31 [BE] Gauge frame when shut down leaks by - takes more than 1 minute to fill glass but water can be seen inside glass.
{This is quite common, and in fact it is acceptable provided the glass does not fill quickly - e.g. less than a minute}

It looks as though 2807 may have a rest after Thomas (when the 55xx comes back), and we'll take a look at 27 to 30.

Thomas Weekend
It's a DOWT weekend, so access is restricted and 2807 is in service on Saturday & Sunday.  See you next Wednesday, then?!


Wednesday 10 June 2015

Maintenance Update (diesel, Thomas, chairs)

Wednesday 10th
I arrived at Todders to the sight of 2807 blowing off!  Not quite what I was expecting.  The plan had been to light a warming fire this morning and do a steam test later in the day ….

However, it all changed circa 8 am.  It seems that 4270 is unserviceable (awaiting parts); 5542 was failed with what may be a leak on the regulator; presumably, we don't have any right to steam Wells (which is still here, allegedly because of a bridge problem en route) for contractual reasons … so, 2807 was the only loco available to steam!  The first train had to go out diesel-hauled, while they got 2807 ready and tested.

So, with no loco to play with, Gil buzzed off to Winchcombe to play with the siphon, while Bruce John G and I offered our services to Carpo … and then to John P  … and finally, to Neil C! 

John P was checking the springs on Thomas, and Bruce and John G did provide some assistance.  No spring problem was found;  however …

The three of us then assisted Neil, who was clipping up the rails on Road 7 of the shed.  These are just past the new pit and will be concreted in place to form an apron.  We completed this before lunch.

As we had run out of things to do, we had lunch and then melted away.  I finished lettering on 6 rail chairs and then tackled Maurice's cubby hole (i.e. the toilet cubicle in the TPO).  He'd left it in a bit of a mess .. but so had we (all sorts of electrical kit "stuffed" inside).  I tidied up, hoovered up and threw out the junk.

As far as we can tell, 2807 will run the service train on Thursday; the Fire & Drive on Friday and the service trains on Saturday & Sunday.

… As I was leaving, John P was just finishing checking over Thomas.  Unless some pretty smart action is taken, it will not so much be a "Day Out With Thomas", as a day out with 2807 looking at Thomas sitting sad-faced in a siding!

So, Saturday currently looks like a relaxing day (!).  I will take Saturday off.  So, if anyone does turn up hoping to do some work, there is a pile of rail chairs on the bench outside …

Have a nice weekend!


Saturday 6 June 2015

Maintenance Update (doors, plugs, bags, bricks)

Wednesday 3rd
It was all hands to the loco, today!  Bruce arrived first, and Carpo said to him that he wanted a quick turn-round for 2807's boiler wash-out!  Like, he wants 2807 ready for action next week!

The first task we attacked was the removal of wash-out plugs and mudhole doors.  The plugs are tapered and although they have only been in for a couple of months, they don't want to come out!

It is a three-man job removing one.  A bar fits through the extractor and two of you lever each side of the bar, while the third man holds the extractor onto the plug.  Fortunately, carpo didn't want all of them out; just enough to inspect in between the inner & outer firebox wrappers.  So, we removed 27.  Any that fought too hard stayed put! 

Mudhole doors are tricky but don't test the super-human strength that is needed for plugs.  The doors fit on the inside of the firebox (between the wrappers) such that boiler pressure holds them tight.  They are oval, which means that they can be manipulated and pulled out of their holes … provided you remove the gasket material from them first (they are that close a fit, that the thickness of the gasket prevents them from passing through the hole) .. and provided there isn't an oil pipe in the way!

The tricky bit comes when removing those on the top edge of the firebox.  If you let go while they are still inside, they go walkabout.  Getting them out then is worthy of a TV game show!  So, we have a loop that screws into the stud of the door and is too big to fall into the hole.

By end of play, all 27 plugs were cleaned and all 8 mudhole doors were cleaned; ready to go back in … once the boiler has been washed out.  This we couldn't do today because the tank wagon in the yard was empty and Bruce & JC had to hook the hose up to it and fill it.  It still wasn't full when we went home!

Meanwhile, Loco Dept chaps cleaned the grate; cleaned the smokebox, and emptied the ash pan.
John G removed various ferrules from with the cab (he's numbering them all so that they go back in their right places).  There's not enough room to insert the plug extractor (sort-of spanner) with these ferrules in situ.

John G also primed four rail chairs.

Many thanks to Loco dept chaps: Nigel, Andy, Howard and Chris S.

Here's a list of the most recent issues logged against our engine:

21 [JC] Regulator blowing by.
   {I think this simply means that there is a wisp of steam from the snifting valves.  If so, that's fairly normal!  We won't take any action over that.}

22 [JC] Rear steam heat connector blowing.  Replaced seal, still blowing steam.
   {This is puzzling.  It appears to mean the connection to the coaches.  They can be awkward to couple properly and may leak steam; or steam could have been coming out of the pressure relief valve.  Either ways, we're not likely to do anything about it}

24 [BE] Blower blowing by.
   {the blower valve in the cab does appear to be leaking quite badly, leaving white streaks down the petticoat in the smokebox.  The seat will need recutting.}

25 [RO'H] Centre brick of brick arch missing.
   {There's a comment saying "IC happy to run on".  We didn't get time to inspect it today.  Maybe it has simply slipped down?  One would think that the row of bricks would collapse if the key brick was totally missing?}

26 [NJC] Intermediate steam heat hose burst.
   {There is a split in the steam heating hose between loco and tender.  JC said he'd see if there was a spare in the stores, but didn't get back to us}

Saturday 6th
Just David and myself today … plus Carpo, Andrew, Clive and Eleanor from Loco Dept!

The Loco Dept chaps (and chapess) attempted to wash out the boiler … but the pump had run out of petrol!  David & I replaced the split bag (steam heat hose) while we had the chance.  {That's Issue 26 fixed}

Carpo went and got some petrol, and I think that he, Andy and Eleanor squirted water in (and out) of most of the holes (with occasional assistance from David).  While water was flying everywhere, I applied top coat to five chairs in the boot scraper production line.

Then David & I tackled the blower issue.  In fact, we spent the rest of the day trying to cut the seat and get down to a smooth face.  It was far from perfect by close of play, but it is bound to be better than it was.  There are still some depressions in the face, and we ought to have another go at some future time.  {That's issue 25 fixed as good as we can for now}

Meanwhile, Carpo & Andy boxed up the loco and filled the boiler with water. 

Clive and Eleanor spent happy moments in the firebox repairing the brick arch.  It would appear that some over-enthusiastic person had clobbered the brick arch with a fire iron, and had broken the centre brick.  Furthermore, when Clive and Eleanor removed it, a side brick fell in half!  It had also been cracked.  {Thanks to them for fixing issue 25}

Finally, Andy walked Eleanor through the process of fire lighting and they put a warming fire in.  The plan now is to light another warming fire on Wednesday; do a steam test on Wednesday or Thursday, and be in service on Friday.

Oh, and Andy produced a curious piece of metal that he thinks might once have been welded to something inside the smokebox … answers on an email …

2807 is now scheduled to operate:
    Friday 12th = Fire & Drive.
    Saturday 13th, train 2 (dep. Todders at 11.10am)
    Sunday 14th, train 1 (dep Todders at 10.00am)

Work continues on restoring our siphon van.  Today, for example, Fred, Bill and Geof were working on it.  Bill sends the following report on progress:

"Siphon restoration work at Winchcombe has continued with emphasis on the following activities:
o         Sanding down, priming, undercoating and painting interior area at end of the Siphon vehicle
(selected cream colour), including wood filling and improvement of existing wood
construction as necessary
o         Carpentry work involving disassembly, renewal and re-assembly of existing door posts,
including necessa
ry remedial work and filling areas of rotted wood, and fabrication and fitting
of replacement wood sections as necessary
o         Work involving renewal, re-assembly and installation of existing wood door frames and
doors, including replacement and filling of rotted wood sections with new wood as necessary
o        Sanding down, surface preparation, priming, undercoating and painting existing wood louvre
slats, including replacement of rotted slats and louvre frames with new wood as necessary
o         Breaking out and removal of existing exterior wood cladding sections on vehicle
o         Measure and cut to size replacement T & G wood sections required for replacement exterior
icle cladding
o         Fitting and installation of new exterior replacement T & G cladding panels
o         Application of primer, undercoat and top coat paint finish (selected GWR chocolate colour) to
new exterior wood cladding panels."