So what happens now, I hear you say? Well the honest answer is that I'm not quite sure. For the time being, your original blogger has been dragged
I can at least provide a bit of an update on what has been going on lately, however since I retired from the blog, I have got out of the habit of bringing along my camera, or breaking off from whatever I've been up to in order to make notes on what everybody else in the steam dept has been doing. As a consequence many things of note are sure to have been omitted here, for which I can only apologise. Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible.
I can at least inform you that 35006 has returned safe and sound from her very successful trip to the Mid Hants Railway's gala a week or so ago. Previously, she was facing north, and the opportunity has been taken to change her direction:
|35006 facing south for a change|
|Mark, preparing to raise the tender with the recently refurbished lifting jacks|
|Wheels primed and ready for turning|
The news regarding 3850's boiler is not so good though, the quote for getting it turned round and ready to steam again landed with an extremely loud thump when it came through the letter box. The decision has been taken to remove the boiler from 3845, which is apparently in far better condition, and use that instead. That means that we're back to square one on the boiler preparation front, but it will hopefully work out for the best in the long run. 3845 is stored at DMLL's private site, and work has taken place there to free the boiler from the frames in preparation for being lifted out by a crane:
|3845, hiding in the undergrowth|
Lifting a boiler from a steam locomotive is not the easiest of tasks, if the boiler has been in situ for any length of time (3845's will have been in place for in excess of 50 years), then the rust between the firebox sides and the frames will be enough to grip the boiler firmly in place. Should you hire a crane in to lift the boiler, the rust bond would likely be sufficient to cause the crane to lift both the boiler and the frames at the same time... if you're lucky, as otherwise the boiler may fail to go up and the crane will go down. Neither of these scenarios are desirable. The trick is to loosen off all the boiler fixings/mountings, then carefully jack the boiler up and down a few times in the frames, to remove the layer of rust. In 3845's case, the task had been made a lot easier by the fact the the smokebox was scrap (the chimney had been removed by brute force, ignorance & gas axe during its time in Barry Island scrapyard), so there was no need to remove the bolts at the smoke box saddle, just cut the smoke box through.
|Keith prepares to operate the jack at the front end of the boiler...|
|Bob sets up another jack under the firebox|
|To further his assimilation, we even gave him tea in a Dinmore Manor mug.|
|Just an inch or so at this point|
|Various elements of the brake linkages|
|The brake beams, re-bushed and in undercoat|
And finally, the floor of road 6 in the David Page shed has been painted and sealed.