Thursday 24 September 2015

Maintenance Update (con rod, valve, concrete)

Thursday 17th
I popped down to Todders to cut some wedges for fitting brushes to boot scrapers.  I don't like using the band saw when other people are wandering in & out (for safety reasons).  Thomas had just arrived.

Saturday 19th
I was on crossing duty at Winchcombe during today's Thomas event.  I was greatly impressed with the smoothness of 2807 when buffering up to the coaches to couple up.  The new pilot valve works a treat!  Paul showed me exactly where the steam leak is by the Y-splitter leading to the condensing coil.  It's on the bend in the copper pipe.

Bruce went to Todders and did some work on 3850.  One of the brake tender blocks was loose, and had slipped outwards, resulting in the block wearing and leaving a significant outer edge of metal that was now rubbing on the outside of the wheel.  Bruce removed the brake block; cut off the excess metal, and ground the block down to allow the block to work properly (for a while!).  Thereafter, Bruce helped in the loco shed, where they were laying metal mesh in preparation for concrete being laid on Monday.

Dixie popped in briefly (to collect something) and went on to Winchcombe to work on the siphon.

Monday 21st
It rained!  I couldn't do anything in the garden or go for a bike ride, so I went to Todders instead.  No electricity!  Off all day … so I went home again.

In checking the Issues Register, I was horrified to see on the top page No.71 [on Wednesday it was only up to no. 56] … However, I was relieved to discover that young Jon W was too tired at the end of his shift to notice the two blank pages preceding.  Hence there are only two new issues:

56 [JC] Blowing 215 psi.  {We know the safety valves lift at 215 instead of 225; they have done all year.  No action is proposed}

71 [JW] RH big end losing all oil each trip. Req a whole can each trip.

It was plain to see, as 2807 was over the old pit, that there was a significant pool of oil on the concrete apron beneath the con rod big end.  Drips clearly being from con rod, not coupling rod.  This is a bit of a blow.

Tuesday 22nd
I had a bit of a bit of a fright as I rolled into Todders car park, seeing a dirty filthy 28xx on the head of the train in Platform 1 … until I saw the smokebox number plate 3850.

Wednesday 23rd
2807 had been moved into the yard, and positioned such that the RHS big end was almost top dead centre … and hence impossible to get at the oil pot!  Nevertheless, I managed to poke my little finger in, and (sure enough) there was practically no oil in there.  This is a puzzle.  The pot contains a vertical tube with a flow restrictor within it.  When you fill the pot full, oil will flow relatively rapidly down the tube, until the level drops to that of the top of the tube. Thereafter only the motion of the con rod will cause oil to splash around in the pot and some will then drop down the tube.  Maybe I should have filled it up today and seen if the level drops when the loco is stationary?

Bruce and John T removed the RHS injector steam valve, and then polished its bottom.  It had been reported that steam passed by the valve, and you can tell from the photo that there was an area at the bottom of the face that was corroded.  They fixed this (with Carpo's cutter) and reassembled it all.

John T later cleaned a couple of rail chairs and cut bolts off a few more.

John G spent the entire day painting rail chairs.

I assembled about 10 boot scrapers and re-stocked the F&W (they'd sold two over the Thomas weekend).

Out of the kindness of his heart, Bruce helped sweep out the new concrete floor in the loco shed.

You may not be aware of the award bestowed upon us all at the GWSR: the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service.  There is a video of the highlights of the ceremony, commencing with a few shots of 2807.


Wednesday 16 September 2015

Maintenance Update (vacuum, siphon, Dame)

Friday 11th
John P [Fireman} reported:
"Bruce asked me to carry out some checks on 2807 steam heat rear pipe connections today as I was on Fire & Drive. This is to report back that the clasp connection and pipe clamp is correctly aligned for attachment and links up to the Chocolate and Cream coach stock easily. We briefly tested the pipework under pressure and there were no steam leaks at the fixed pipework gasket joint.

The Condenser coil in the cab is leaking and it does appear to be a pin hole near where the pipe bends away from the union. It is not a problem as the "T" cock allows the other circuit  to be used. The hole is tiny but steam and oil can be seen to exude if you look hard enough or are lucky to catch it in the right lighting situation.

We had to replace the gauge glass tube and rubbers today as it started to leak heavily on our second run from Cheltenham to Gotherington. Replaced in the station at Gotherington and no further problems.

As usual 2807 performed very well throughout the day and all the F&D participants went away very happy."

Saturday 12th
Gilbert reported:
" Jamie has reported loss of vacuum today. I asked him if it was the coaching stock, but he said No, it happened when running light engine."

Stuart came down from Lancashire and found Fred, Gil and Geof in the siphon van at Winchcombe. He says: "The strange triangle held by Gil is one of the parts being manufactured that fits on a door interior and allows access to the opening lever from the outside.  The chaps were also doing some filling and painting of the exterior new panels and internal vent slats."

Monday 14th
Bruce reported:
" I went to the Queens Award for Volunteers presentation today, John T was there also.

It seemed to go Ok despite the rain showers.  I didn't see the Queen though but Timothy West and Prue were there.

While I was there I looked at the roster. 2807 is on the service train on Tue, Wed and Thur followed by Fire and Drive on Fri, she is also rostered for Thomas on Sat and Sun.

There was a report last week that the right side clack was leaking. This has been crossed out by Mark Y and changed to the right side injector valve leaking.  We know about this as it has been leaking slightly all year and we already have it on our 'to do' list."

Tuesday 15th
Email from Maxine: " Dame Janet [i.e. Lord Lieutenant of Gloucestershire, Dame Janet Trotter DBE] has expressed an interest in a foot scraper, dated 1943. Can you let me know if this will be possible."

Wednesday 16th
Fred, Gil, Ray and Bill were all beavering away on the siphon van restoration at Winchcombe.

Gil actually started the day at Todders with Bruce.  They were examining the pony truck on the newly-arrived 38xx in the yard.  Apparently its 'ticket' expires at the end of this month.  They went in search of drawings, too.

Dixie finished off finding electrical cables and tagging them all.  Then he joined me in cleaning (more) rail chairs.  He decided to get one as a present for his brother, whose birth date was May 1945.  Well, talk about luck!  We do have a May 1945 rail chair, so we cleaned it up.

John G got stuck into painting rail chairs.  He'd completed 10 tops (in enamel) plus 6 bottoms by end of play.

At the end of the afternoon, we had lost Bruce.  We thought he might have gone home (someone heard mention of him going to do a drawing); but it transpired that he was "helping" the department chaps in the shed finishing off some of the flooring.  It doesn't look like "our" shed, now that 3/4 of the floor is covered in concrete!  :-)

Issues logged for 2807:
52 [correction by MY]: Not clack.  Slight blow-by on steam valve to RHS injector.
   {We knew about that - see "Monday", above}

54 [JC]: Steam leak on back of Y-splitter on fountain.
   {I'm sure this was reported before?  … and it turned out to be the condensing coil?}

55 [JC]: LHS piston gland blowing.

56 [JC]: Vac train pipe losing vac when light engine, res[ervoir] at 22"
   {This happened once before.  It seems to be a random event, happening once or twice per year.  It could even be a poorly-connected vacuum hose after uncoupling.  No action proposed.}

Loco Roster
2807 is rostered for every day up to Sunday 20th Sept.


Thursday 10 September 2015

Maintenance Update (helicopter, Bachmann, flogged)

Saturday 5th
Only Dixie & I were working at Toddington.  Gil, Bill and others were at Winchcombe.  2807 was in service on Train 1.

Gil popped in, purely to give Dixie a job!  All of our electrical equipment has to have an identification tag attached to it - this was Dixie's job!  I had made a list of everything a few weeks ago, so at least he had a list to go by.  The cabinet with drills & angle-grinders in played up a bit.  The second drawer would not open!  Eventually, we took the top drawer out and I applied persuasion using a screwdriver and pair of pliers.  I think that's fixed it!

I was working away in the boot scraper factory.  Dixie assisted me in restocking the F&W plus putting some in the car boot for the Coffee Pot at Winchcombe.  Then we ambled over to the station to see 2807.  But … it was nowhere to be seen!  She should have been sitting in Platform 1 waiting to depart for Cheltenham … but she wasn't.  It transpired that someone* was flying about in a helicopter, taking videos of our line, and they wanted a steam train on the viaduct, so 2807 was sent onwards to Laverton (instead of the DMU).

It was pretty obvious when 2807 was approaching the viaduct (even though it is well out of sight of the station) because we could hear the bark as the driver opened her up!  I look forward to seeing the video.  She will have made a spectacular sight.

Anyway, there was a crowd of visitors from Bachmann.  Bob Mack came along (as Dixie & I admired "our" loco) with a name board.  "Who wants this?" he asked.  There was no response from the crew, so I climbed up onto the front, took it from Bob and fixed it to the smokebox.

We checked the pony and underkeep.  It was tepid; not hot.  Both sides were equally warm, so it looks as though our temporary fix of the leak is working.  Ian, the driver, said that he had not had to top the underkeep up, so far.  We did notice a wisp of steam from the RHS injector; so there must be a small steam leak in its steam valve seat.  However, there had been no recent issues logged.

Dixie was able to take a footplate ride (purely for ensuring all was well, obviously).  When he got back, he did report that all was well.   :-))   So, we finished off and clocked off.

Wednesday 9th
Today was a hive of activity.  But first the bad news: 2807 was red-carded for having a loose nut.  The nut is a castellated nut with split pin that holds the valve link rod to the rocking shaft.  There's a tapered pin through the two, with this nut on its end.  Unfortunately, the taper is not quite perfect …  Anyway, Driver PG spotted that the nut was loose.  It couldn't come off (because of the split pin) but it was causing the not-so-tapered pin to waggle about a bit.

Gil & Bruce, with assistance from John P [Loco Dept] and John T, removed said nut, checked it over, refitted it and applied some flogging to it.  An amusing arrangement of wood jammed the spanned onto the outer end, while the nut (on the inside) was flogged.

John G set-to on painting rail chairs.  He completed 8 tops and 2 bottoms.  We are doing BR(W) in Crimson Lake because this colour seems to be the "in" thing this year.  Don't quite understand why, but the crimson boot scrapers are selling like hot cakes.

John T left the floggers and cleaned up two LNWR rail chairs, before joining me on repairing one of our two trolleys.  I purloined planks of wood from the wood store, and John T & I removed the old wood, nuts & bolts from the dilapidated trolley top.  John G joined in, and the end result is something to be proud of!

Dixie spent the entire day finding electrical items that need tagging.  He'd got my list to work from, but actually finding things was taking the time.  They have a habit of moving about.

After lunch, Bruce & Gil noticed that the brakes on the loco & tender were wearing, and so they adjusted them.  Gil even went to the (quite unnecessary) trouble of reporting it as an issue, and then clearing it!

Apart from the Red Card, there are three new issues logged:
51 [PG]: Regulator leaking by.
52 [PG]: Driver side clack blowing by.
53 [GK]: Loco & tender brakes require adjustment.

Note that 2807 is in service from Friday through to Monday (11th to 14th Sept).
I believe she is also required for Friday 18th plus Thomas days: 19th & 20th.



* GWSR had hired the helicopter to take various photos of the line, specifically that between Laverton & Broadway (but also of an engine powering across the viaduct) to put in a new share appeal for next year, to help bridge the Broadway bit.

Thursday 3 September 2015

Maintenance Update (lunch, steam, braces)

Thursday 27th
I popped over to Tewkesbury to buy some more black gloss Deproma paint.  Back at Toddington, 2807 was sat on the bay platform road with a wisp of grey smoke drifting from her chimney.  Three new springs appear to have been delivered; 4270 was still sitting on its jacks in the yard.  I believe that two of its springs had broken last weekend.

Sunday 30th
Took the family for a train ride because it was raining.  It happened to be 2807.  The start pulling away from each station was so smooth that I just had to go and compliment the driver!  Honestly, you didn't realise that you'd started to move.  From Ray's GWSR blog, here's the story of Sunday:

"the bank holiday weekend Sunday was blessed with a typical bank holiday weather forecast, unremitting rain.  For a change, I was rostered for 4270 (my last 5 turns have been on 5542, so I was looking forward to something different).  Added to that, 4270 has a nice enclosed cab like 5542, we would laugh in the face of the storm that was to come.  On the Saturday I learned that 4270 had been failed with a broken spring and would be out of action until a new one had been sourced.  My steed for the Sunday would now be 2807.  For those of you who may be unfamiliar with our locomotives, just think of 5542 and 4270 as being like your average family car, whereas 2807 is more like a convertible that has lost its windscreen and roof, at least when running tender first.  Once that analogy has planted itself in your mind, take a moment to reflect upon which one you would prefer under the circumstances.  I feared that I would no longer be laughing in the face of the storm that was to come.   I packed an old trench coat into the boot of the car before setting off and hoped for the best.  As I was down for train 2 on the red timetable, I arrived an hour or so after Andy who had been rostered on 5542 on train 1.  No sooner had I emerged from my car, than I was met by a fluent stream of Anglo Saxon which when translated amounted to the fact that 5542 was in a bad way and that Andy would be requisitioning 2807 from me and running that on train one instead.  At that moment, my driver, Steve, arrived and after a bit more translation, we established that the grate on 5542 had partially collapsed and needed some remedial work before it could be used.  This was of course a challenge, could Steve succeed where Andy had not.  Well it turned out that he could, and after a complete rebuild of the grate we were good to go.".

Wednesday 2nd Sept
Gil, Fred, Ray & Bill were at Winchcombe working on the siphon van.  That is to say, I can vouch for them being there … eating their lunches!  I had an appointment in Cheltenham so couldn't get to the railway before 1pm.

Bruce said that Gil had come to Todders first thing with some nuts, bolts and a plate off the siphon.  He came to refurbish them.  Then he buzzed off back to Winchcombe.

At Todders, John G had painted 10 chairs in the production line during the morning, then ran out of things to do.

Bruce was still there when I arrived.  He said that last Saturday, Carriage & Wagon needed to do a steam heat test on one of the coaches, and as 2807 was around …. Ah! Steam heat … we hadn't fitted the valve & pipe to the tender yet.  With no on/off valve at the tender end, steam would have gushed out of the open-ended pipe!  So, Gil apparently temporarily fitted it quickly.  Today, Bruce finished off the task.  In particular, the locknuts on the on/off valve assembly were too thick, and hence blocked the holes for the split pins (= belt & braces approach).  So, Bruce skimmed the nuts down and fitted pins, too.  He bemoaned the fact that it was a long walk from the yard down to the loco, which was parked on the bay track at the station.

Thursday 3rd
I popped down to do lettering on the chairs, and checked the issues log for 2807 - no new issues (maybe they've run out of paper at last?).  I also checked the loco roster - 2807 is now to be in service this weekend. 4270 is still sitting on its jacks.  Apparently, the new springs need a bit of work doing on them to persuade them to fit.