Saturday 2 April 2016

Maintenance Update (valves, damper, hum)

Wednesday 30th
Graham B [Loco Dept] volunteered to raise & tend 2807’s fire. I thought it was to be a warming fire, but Carpo wanted to set the safety valves to something closer to 225 psi than the 200 at which they have been lifting. So, late afternoon, there was considerable noise, as the valves were lifted followed by Carpo tightening them down; then they lifted again and he tightened them down; etc. Finally, they are now set to lift at 222 psi (though they do ‘feather’ from about 210 psi).

Carpo removed the spacers from the safety valves. They will need reducing to match the actual settings.

During the calmer periods, Graham was assisted by Alex [Loco Dept] in cleaning various parts - the tender, while I was fiddling with it!

Gil started by removing the panel on the side of the reversing lever frame, to see how easy it is to access the nuts that hold the number plate on (on the driver’s side). It’s easy!

Then Gil & I looked at the tender grease nipples, which had caused some concern. I removed all six nipples; cleaned them, and refitted them. In doing so, I discovered that the driver-side rear one had stripped its thread, and cannot be tightened. As a short-term solution, I wrapped some PTFE around the thread. Still not tight, but will have to do for now. The alternative is to drill & re-tap the hole to a larger size and either fit a sleeve or an adapter to bring it back to standard size.

John G began by applying a top coat to the 8 rail chairs that I had cleaned last Saturday (and subsequently applied a primer coat on Monday). I moved on to cleaning 3 more chairs, as the F&W had sold 5 boot scrapers over Easter. By the end of play, John had painted 5 green, 3 crimson and 3 black bottoms.

I had acquired a tad more conduit, and during the afternoon, John G persuaded John H [Loco dept] to apply some heat to the seized connections. This was 100% successful, and all of the sections are separated and the sleeves & nuts freed.

Gil clambered underneath (we’re over a pit) and checked the front damper, that he had noticed cinders falling from last week. The damper closes properly. It would have been open when in use, and you can’t stop cinders dropping out then. Whilst below, Gil checked the taper pin in the drain cock mechanism. David had well and truly persuaded that to stay in place … and it has. He also looked at the water connection twixt loco & tender, as we have a “proper” connection (as opposed to a plain pipe) that we shall fit when time permits. Finally, back up on top, Gil noticed that a patch of bitumen had been worn off the back section of the tender, possibly through coal falling onto it, so he patched that up.

No 5542 has performed her last duty of its present contract for the GWR today. She’ll be collected on Sunday evening.

Thursday 31st
Some of us just couldn’t keep away!

2807 approaching Winchcombe station

Rolling into Platform 1 at Winchcombe

“Right Away” and 2807 eases away from Winchcombe station beneath Greet road bridge

Friday 1st April
I was out for a bike ride (touched 45.7 mph down Snowshill!) and passed through Didbrook. There is a blacksmith, here, who has made a couple of brackets for the AWS conduit, so I picked them up. Didbrook is close to where Hailes Halt will be built later this year.

When 2807 first came into service, we had a full set of fireman’s irons made by this blacksmith. They must have been well made because several of them have mysteriously disappeared!

Anyway, his name is Dan Prendergast:
0798 308 1708; or 01 242 621 290.

Saturday 2nd
Not a great deal to do, with 2807 not standing still for long. However, on Wednesday, John G had heard a hum that sounded as though it might be coming from the pony truck. It was reported quite independently, that a “squeal” appeared to come from the pony. So, as 2807 pulled away from Toddington this morning, Bruce, Gil & I all stood listening intently. No squeal, though Bruce detected a hum. We listened again the next time, and even Neil (signalman) heard the hum. It sounds almost like a harmonic caused by marks or dips on the wheels. Curious! Hopefully it will cure itself. Brian visited us, and so went on the footplate to see if he could find out any more about the hum. Negative - but there was nothing warm that shouldn’t be.

Gil & Bruce had a butcher’s under various tenders to see how they had arranged their water connections twixt loco & tender. All different! We have the connectors, so will replace our straight-fit pipe ends with a correct one.

Gil buzzed off to Winchcombe, and Bruce decided to look at other locos’ clacks. He’s making a special spanner to fit the square nuts; one that can be whacked to tighten them. Guess what … here are the sizes of the across-flats of the nuts:

2807: 0.820 inch
5542: 0.835
7820: 0.750
7903: 0.745
4270: 0.687

So Bruce has decided to make one for ¾” and then reduce those on 2807 to match. That way, his spanner will at least fit three engines!

I played with boot scrapers, again.

2807 is now in service this weekend plus Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of next week. Nothing is rostered beyond that yet.

On Monday 4th April P&O is scheduled to run up & down between Toddington and Winchcombe (provided someone remembers to tell the Winchcombe signalman!) for running-in trials.


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