Sunday 14 August 2016

Maintenance Update (felt, rod, oil, hole)

Tuesday 9th
I had an email from the railway to say that someone had rung in seeking two 1.5 metre lengths of rail, and could I help provide same? I rang the chap and discussed his requirements.

Wednesday 10th
More people than chairs! It was a bit of a squash in the van at tea break! Gil, Bruce and John T dedicated themselves to removing and inspecting the LHS cross-head.

Bruce had filled the cross-head bottom pot with oil on Saturday, and it had all run out by today. This implies that the pad is letting it through too quickly. Upon inspection, Bruce said that the felt pad was loose - not very loose, but enough. So, he cut a new pad for the bottom, and then added extra packing to the top pad (which can’t pour out as the bottom one can).

It’s a 4-man job removing or refitting the con rod. John G is assisting by placing wooden blocks beneath the small end, as the other three lift it.

The big end is at least as problematic. Then the whole rod has to be slid across, keeping it parallel (or else one end or the other jams!).

Gil & Bruce (with support from others, of course) have now examined both cross-heads; could find
no obvious problem with the oil flow, and replaced felts. However, Gil did detect wear in the big
end bushes, and this will need to be remedied over winter.

Meanwhile, the removal army consisted of John G, Dixie, Fred, Bill and myself. We shifted dozens of crates of bits & pieces out of the TPO and into the container. The shelves are beginning to get
reasonably full; but with luck we’ll get it all in. There’s still some to go into the van, too, which is
now becoming crowded. In fact, at lunch time, Bruce was being “Mum” and making the tea … which
was a bit malfortuitous, because there were eight of us and only seven chairs  … and Bruce was
standing up, making the tea! Luckily, I spotted a fold-up chair on top of the tombola boxes which
was retrieved for him.

Nigel BH [Loco Dept] is going to fit the electrics. He came and made some suggestions (having
electrified the other containers). This he hopes to be able to undertake in a couple of weeks’ time.

After lunch, Fred popped over to Winchcombe, where the siphon van frames & bogies were being
grit-blasted. The men discovered that the frames are coated in bitumen (or something very similar)
which was proving hard to get off. Also, when they had got through a patch, they discovered that
the metal underneath was in perfect condition. So, they decided to stop.

During the afternoon, P-Way were busy around the yard, and very kindly cut two lengths of rail for
the caller, Stephan. He’s got one chair and two pretend-sleepers already, so he needs three more
chairs plus four clips; then he will have a short section of railway as a feature in his garden!

I wonder if he realises how heavy these are. 95 lb/yd. Plus three chairs at about 45 lb each.

Saturday 13th
P&O had failed on Thursday with an injector problem. 4270 is unserviceable, which meant that
Foremarke Hall and 2807 held the fort over the weekend. Whilst 2807 continues to provide a
reliable service, this loss of oil on the cross-heads and slide bars remains an issue. Today’s driver
explained that he filled the cross-head lower oil pot at Winchcombe, and it was empty when he
arrived at Toddington. We have no explanation for this. Also, David agrees with Bruce that the
event timing is out of true. This has happened since we used fitted bolts to stop the rock-shaft
mounting from “rocking”. Perhaps having stopped the ‘sloppiness’ in the shaft motion (to the
valves) it has altered the timing?

As 2807 was in service, all hands were to the move from 60 ft TPO to 20 ft container (again). David,
John T, Bill, Gill, Colin and I spent the day heaving trolley loads up & down the yard. The first
challenge was the pillar drill. This is extremely heavy. Fortunately, it separates into several components which are manageable. Nevertheless, it took four of us to get it out of the TPO, onto a trolley and then off the trolley into the container.

Gil spent most of the day inside the container trying to apply some sort of order to what we were
piling into it. Sometimes someone would have a specific little task to do. For example, Bill took
down the notice board from inside the TPO, and then John cut it down for use as a backing board for the electrics. John also drilled a hole in the floor for the mains cable to come up. The container has a wooden floor. John queried if it was just wood, so I stuck my hand up underneath (outside) and felt wood, so … But then the drill hit metal! It would seem that there are some metal struts across, side-to-side (sensible, really!) and John measured their spacing before drilling hole number two.

Bill had called in at Winchcombe on his way to us, and related that the siphon was up on jacks ready
for the bogies to be overhauled. I’m not sure who is supposed to be doing that?

By end of play, there were still oddments inside the TPO but all useful things had been transferred to
the container (which is looking rather full, now).

TPO - almost empty!

Container - almost full.


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