Saturday 11 June 2016

Maintenance Update (whistle, conduit, rods, 2808)

Wednesday 8th
Gil & Bruce spent the day playing with a whistle. Intending to tackle Issue 14 (Brake whistle valve blowing past), they removed the main whistle and dismantled it. Bruce then lapped in the whistle valve, and they reassembled it. This is not as easy as you might think, because of the strong spring that returns the lever arm. Even fitting it back on top of the firebox is not trivial, as there is very little scope for the angles of pipework, and not much room where the lever passes through the cab spectacle plate.

I pressed on with the ATC conduit just ahead of the cab. I had drilled a pilot hole last week, and now used that to drill a hole 1¼“ diameter right through the running board. That took a good hour, as the hole passed through a plate and then a supporting angle-iron. Total thickness was about ¾“. Thereafter, I could offer up the existing (but alien) conduit to assess how to modify it to suit our loco. The conduit had an angle of about 120°, which did not suit 2807, so Carpo very kindly heated it up and I persuaded it to become closer to 90°. That is where it passes up the front of the cab and inside through a hole. I then had to cut the conduit in order to insert a 9” length - again, to make it suit our loco. There’s more fun to be had inside the cab as well as beneath the running board.

2807 was only scheduled to be in service during the weekend of 18/19 June. Apart from that, she was just acting as standby loco. But as a result of 7903 having great trouble with leaks in its superheater, 2807 was called into service this weekend; and all next week, up to the 19th.

Saturday 11th
As 2807 was in service, no one (apart from me) turned up at Toddington! Fortunately, there was plenty to do on the boot scraper front. By mid-afternoon, I had picked out the writing and fitted brushes to 7 boot scrapers, and applied a primer coat to the top of a further 7.

GWR locos have two whistles, each with a different tone. The high-pitched whistle is primarily to warn bystanders that the loco is about to move, or is approaching them. The lower-pitched whistle is used in emergencies, calling for the guard to apply his brake. The whistle that Bruce & Gil had serviced on Wednesday was the warning whistle. Unfortunately, it is the guard whistle that leaks! I tested the springs on both, and they are both fine.

I had a chat with the crew on 2807. Sean explained, also, that the rods make quite a ‘clanking’ noise when the loco is pulling a load in reverse. The noise can be reduced by easing off the regulator. I suggested that there is nothing that we can do until winter maintenance period, as it means removing the rods and probably replacing bearing surfaces and/or bushes. Bruce did pop in and make tea (which was very noble of him), but he had a bowls match to go to. During the afternoon, Ian Bromley came for a flying visit (from Jersey). We squeezed in a short run up & down the line into the ash pit road for him. That was it for today!

There are some lovely shots of 2807 in this video:

Photo of 2808 pulling the longest freight that we could muster, by Pete Young


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