October, November, and December have been a busy period to remove the pony truck and then wheelsets, this blog update will take you through this process.
Health and safety are a key issue so all care is taken with the current COVID rules and guidelines as well as the CSPL and GWSR rules for the handling of heavy items and ensuring the loco is safe when carrying out such work.
We are lucky enough to have heavy lifting gear that allows us to lift the complete frames of the loco off its wheels sets. This kit also allows us to remove many items with the loco safely “jacked up” and secure to anyone work in or around the frames
Firstly, the connecting rods need to be removed, something that has been done many times before but always throws up a challenge or two!
Inside the frames work to remove all the springs and axel under keeps
Here you can see one of the CSPL team helping remove the springs
Once all the springs and underkeeps were removed the lift could take place. This was carried out with CSPL and GWSR support teams slow lifting the loco frames thus freeing up the wheelsets and axel boxes.
In the next picture you will see an old brake block hanging from the axel box to stop it flipping over and falling off the wheel set axel. The two axel boxes per wheel set are lifted and shown in later photos
The loco frames now stand above the wheels sets. This is a significant milestone in the HGO and shows the amazing work being carried out by our support team at the GWSR
After the lift it’s the move, here the CSPL team start moving the 4 wheel sets out from under the frames.
Then the lift of the axel boxes
The next picture shows all four wheels sets in front of the frames of 2807 with all the axel boxes removed
In early December the wheelsets were dispatched from the GWSR Toddington to the South Devon Railway. Here they will be re-profiled and returned where they, along with the refurbished axel boxes will be returned to the frames.
Some of the final work to be completed before Christmas was to give the loco frames a good steam clean. It also required plenty of hand cleaning with scrapers and brushes
Its has been a great end of 2020 in what has been a very challenging year. A big thank you goes to the CSPL HGO working parties on a Wednesday and Saturdays, The GWSR Steam Department and Management, The GWSR Board, and the CSPL Board/HGO Planning Team. I, as the Chairman, have had to observe from afar due to COVID travel restrictions and part of a support bubble for family.
Please keep coming back to the Blog as we will keep posting updates.