Saturday, 16 September 2017

Maintenance Update (cycle, raffle, wedges, fish)

2807 was in service on: 8th - 10th & 12th - 17th September.

Saturday 9th
2807 was in service so only John T and I were at Toddington - well, actually, Stuart had come down from Lancashire to do some fund-raising at the station over this weekend, too.

The weather was dubious, but during the morning we managed to clean four rail chairs (between showers) and paint a few. We then took a break to watch the Tour of Britain cycle race pass through Toddington. Much rain then threatened, so we called it a day.

I was a little concerned at issue 31: “LH big end warm at end of day. Oil level in reservoir had not gone down since being filled at start of day.” On Friday, I spoke with John P at the end of the day. He was driving 2807 on Fire & Drive duty. He had not noticed any undue heat in the bearings. Then on Saturday I bumped into Cliff, who had been driving 2807 during the week. He was full of praise! No sign of hot bearings.

Cliff did mention the brake vacuum, which seems to stick at 20 Hg and then jumps up to 25 after a few mo’s. It sounds like something could be sticky; or a leaky spot in the vacuum cylinder?

Monday 11th
Stuart asked if there was some painting that he could do because the railway is closed on Mondays, and he was bored! So, I set him on! He reports:
“At 16.30 hrs, finished lettering the 4 chairs, painted black bottoms on the 4 in the container, painted top coats on the 4 in the van (2 green, 2 black) and stained 20 brush heads. OH! and had an hour for lunch.”

Len Young was sifting through some photos at a model “do” and spotted these of 2807:

Anyone know where the first was taken?  The second is marked as being at Shrewsbury MPD.

Wednesday 13th
With 2807 still chuffing up & down, there was nothing for it but to set all hands on making boot scrapers (again!). It was good to have Dixie back after a spell of not being 100%. He spent the day needle-gunning ten rail chairs. Bruce then trimmed off the rough edges and any protruding bolt ends with the angle grinder. John G was on wire brush duty, plus applying paint to four tops and four bottoms. I finished off those in the production line and restocked the Flag & Whistle.

Stuart was on the station handing out leaflets and persuading people to part with money for his raffle. Bruce broke off from grinding to check if there was still any sign of steam from the centre drain cock that he had lapped last week - no sign at all!

A pile of interesting rail chairs was left outside our container. We don’t know who they are from, but we are very grateful. One chair is from a GWR + GC joint line. This one has been put in our museum pile. Not that we have a museum yet, but one day there will be a museum depicting various aspects of Permanent Way, and we are putting aside any interesting pieces.

Which reminds me: Regarding the chair with “LNEC” embossed upon it, Peter Todd advises, “the LNE is for the London North Eastern Rly. but the C stands for the area it was made for, in this case the old Great Central Rly. As advised by the LNER Forum on these matters.”

Clive Hawkins came across an auction item: An LNER (Great Central Railway) pattern Hand Lamp clearly stamped “LNEC” and “HELMDON No.19707” a location on the GCR line between Woodford & Brackley. From which he deduces that “LNEC must in effect stand for London and North Eastern Railway (Central Division).”

Friday 15th
I was planning on going for a bike ride - put the mudguards on; bottle of juice; mobile into saddlebag;  and then it started raining! So, there was nothing for it but to go to Todders and saw up a pile of wedges (for securing brushes in boot scrapers).

I was about to have a cuppa but noticed the milk had turned into a solid lump! Never mind, there’s a new bottle. But that was solid, too! It was a solid block of milk ice. Now, has the weather turned that cold? Had someone turned the thermostat up (it was set at maximum)? It was a bit difficult to judge, but four lumps seemed to be about right!

While there, I dumped several “00” size rail chairs. They are too big (see nearest in photo, above).

Saturday 16th
2807’s final weekend in service at Todders. So, John T, Bruce and I pressed on with boot scraper production while the opportunity is here. I finished off six, and delivered two to the Flag & Whistle. John needle gunned eight. Bruce wire brushed eight. Then in the final moments, Bruce & John slapped paint on, and I managed to wire-brush two more. Final tally: 16 chairs in the container - 4 x fully primed; 9 x black bottomed; 2 x needle-gunned, and 1 x wire brushed.

Steve called in because he had found a new recruit - a young chap called Rob, who lives not a million miles away. It turned out that he had previously lived in Winchcombe, which became a talking point between us.

There is a plan for the forthcoming few weeks, leading up to going away to Llangollen:
Sun 17 Sept: Final steaming day
Mon & Tues: cooling down
Weds 20: Unbox & clean
Sat 23: washout & clean
Tues 26: Cold exam (external examiner)
Wed 27: Box up
Fri 29: Warming fire
Sat 30: Steam test (Loco Dept)
Sun 1 Oct: Cooling
Mon 2: Fix anything detected & light warming fire
Tues 3: Hot exam (external examiner)
Sat 7: Drain ready for transport to Llangollen.

There are a few reported issues that will need attending to during this period, as and when resources available. Latest reported issues are:
34: Hydrostatic lubricator leak - which was fixed by JC [Loco dept]
35: Tender brakes needed adjusting - also fixed by JC.
36: Fireman “lost” the copper end off the pep pie! - replaced by JC.
37: Left hand steam injector feed joint blowing top of injector body.
38: [vacuum] retaining valve occasionally sticks with res[ervoir] @19”. Sorts itself out & returns to
normal. {Cliff mentioned this last week; JC has fed graphite into it to see if that unsticks it}
39: slack pipe continuously blows, may be clack passing {= duplicate of issue 29}

Wildflower Conservation Corner
I dug up a random selection of bulbs from my garden and planted them in our corner at Todders.
You see, last year I’d had this marvellous idea of planting bulbs in my strawberry patch. I figured
that it would give colour in the spring before the strawbs came into their own. It didn’t work. The
daffs and bluebells’ leaves swamped the strawberry plants and inhibited their spring growth. Hence the digging up thereof.


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