Wednesday 12 July 2017

Maintenance Update (lead, air, tight, bus)

Saturday 8th
We were all feeling a tad despondent at the prospect of having a Class 45 diesel pulling our supporters on Sunday. So, a team of people attacked the leaking mud-hole doors problem, early on Saturday morning.

Alex, Angela, Brian, Bruce, David, Gilbert, Graham, Jamie and JC all played a part - some had bigger parts than others ;-). Starting by investigating the failed seal: was anything obviously wrong with the way they were fitted? Nothing visible. Rather than the usual ‘Bluemax’ gaskets, a lead one was tested. Bruce reckons that it appeared to fit well along the sides, but not at the ends.

Instead of raising steam to test the seal, they used compressed air. This necessitated a wash-out plug being removed and replaced by one with a hole in it, to which an air hose could be fitted. However, there was no adapter around that would couple the two together. So, Bruce and/or David made one! By the time the compressor had managed to raise 10 psi in the boiler, it was clear that air was escaping from the doors. Problem not fixed!

It was noticed that the nuts securing the doors were all a bit tight on their studs. In fact, Bruce found that by giving them a gentle (!) tap, he could turn the nut round one more ‘flat’. Could that stiffness have prevented them being tightened fully? Angela and David tackled the doors, cleaning them and running a die down the threads. The lead gasket was replaced with a Bluemax, and the exercise was repeated.

Alex and Graham had decided to clean the loco anyway because, even if no success, 2807 might be rolled out for our supporters to see (or climb over).

Bruce lubricated the threads to help in the tightening. Pressure was raised to over 20 psi, but still there was an escape of air. Pressure was released again and Bruce persuaded each door to fit as snugly as it could by use of a mallet and spanner.

At one point, soapy water was used to try to detect where the leak actually was. Pressure was raised to 20 once more, and the suds now showed no sign of a leak.

4 pm. With all fingers crossed, Jamie replaced the adapted wash-out plug; Graham and Angela lit a warming fire. Jamie took over on the footplate. Brian stayed to assist as required.

6pm: Jamie was building up pressure. No sign of the doors leaking (yet).
6.30: Pressure now approaching 200 psi, and still no sign of leaky mud-holes.
6.45: First safety valve lifted at about 200 psi and the second at 210psi. As part of the steam test, you have to demonstrate that pressure cannot be raised above the ‘red line’ (well, arguably there’s a +5% margin for error). Try as he did, Jamie could not get pressure to go over the 220 line. That’s a pass then! For the sake of checking the point at which each valve lifts, Jamie allowed it to drop and shut off, then raise pressure again to see if the lifting was consistent. Once they had stabilised, he reckoned that they lift at about 215/216 psi.
7.30: We all went home.

Sunday 9th (2807 Supporters’ Day)
Stuart relates: “there were just over 80 supporters attended and had plenty of room in our 2 reserved coaches on the 11.10am train pulled by 2807. The event was held in conjunction with the Classic Bus Rally … 43 buses on show in Toddy car park and I had arranged a 2807 Special bus run to the Broadway Station site … At the end of the day, numerous of our members came up to me and stated that they considered this format to be the best 2807 Supporters day they had attended.”
8.30 pm: Stuart had packed away the stand and, obviously looking for something to do, replaced a decaying step leading up to the van that we use for R&R.

Monday 10th
Stuart again: “Today I was trapped on Toddy car park until 1pm because of all the TV vehicles and the filming of an episode of Father Brown going on around the Station entrance and platform. I did not mind very much because, they were using 2807.”

Wednesday 12th
Gil & Fred (and probably Bill, but if so, he was hiding!) continued work on the siphon van at Winchcombe.

At Todders, we had a relaxing day - watching 2807 run up & down. John G progressed rail chairs in the production line - cleaning, and then painting four tops and three bottoms. Bruce began by tidying up our container, and then sorted through bits of shim with a view to packing out the ‘keys’ (look more like wedges) that prevent the firebox from swinging sideways in the frames.

I boxed up the four boot scrapers that reached the end of the production line, and then took three over to the station café at Winchcombe.

There are only four outstanding issues on 2807’s log:

1: J cocks are stuck. {This dates from July last year. The cocks concerned are from the manifold (aka ‘steam fountain’) to the W-valve. The pipes take steam at full pressure, and if one did happen to burst, the J cocks are the only way to stop steam engulfing the cab}.

22: Oil corks on motion in poor condition. Requires all changing. {What can I say? I would like to think that most drivers would simply have changed them when they take them out to do the oiling up in the morning, rather than putting the crap ones back in!}

23: Steam Test - safety valves blowing at 215-217 psi. {This is Jamie just recording the result}

24: [Vacuum] Reservoir flexible [hose] between engine and tender rubbing on water pipe. Monitor.

2807 is in service all of this week, and Foremarke Hall takes over next week.

I would like to pass on our sincere gratitude for the effort (above & beyond) that numerous people put in over the days leading up to the Supporters’ Day, when it was looking highly likely that 2807 would not be doing the job! I’m sure that I can say on behalf of all of our supporters: an extremely big thank-you for your determination to get 2807 up and running for the day. THANK YOU !!!

Cotswold Steam & Wildlife Preservation Corner
The new wild flower garden has had a sprinkling of real soil over it. Berit Aherne has donated some yellow rattle seeds, and I have scattered various seeds from my own garden. On Tuesday it rained, so things are looking promising.


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