Tuesday, 6 November 2018

A Dirty Weekend

I received a photo during the week from Bill, a GWSR signalman who also moonlights as a driver on the Talyllyn Railway (a delightful line if you ever get the opportunity to visit it).  Apparently Ian (one of our drivers) had paid a visit and blagged a ride on the footplate. 
Ian on the footplate of Edward Thomas at Talyllyn, photo courtesy of Bill Tyndall
The sandbox/frame stretcher on 3850 has now been removed, it's cast iron and weighs a couple of tons, that won't have been an easy job.
3850's sandbox
Removing the sandbox was a pre-requisite for accessing the bolts that hold the cylinder block and frame extensions in place..  As you may recollect, a new cylinder block has been cast and is currently awaiting machining as the original one has a long crack down the front on one side. 
Crack down the front of the cylinder block
It turns out that it was rather worse than that, now that the sandbox has been removed, we can see that there is a corresponding crack down the rear of the cylinder block.
Can't have been much holding it all together!
Other works were of course being carried out on 3850 and its tender:
Jeremy painted under the tender...
Matthew (L) & Kenneth painted the tender's vac cylinder...
... and Matthew applied top coat to sundry small items

Several of us spent a while fruitlessly searching for 3850's pony truck which was last seen outside the front of the shed.  It took some little while before discovering that it really hadn't been half inched (not exactly the sort of thing you could nonchalantly stuff into your pocket whilst passing by), but had been sent for shot blasting.
The space where the pony truck had been for some little while
 Some weeks (probably months actually) ago, 35006 broke a bogie spring.  As we had none in stock, we ended up borrowing one and with grateful thanks to the Mid Hants Railway and the owners of 35005, Canadian Pacific, 35006 was soon back in traffic.  A replacement has now arrived and over the weekend, the borrowed one was removed and a new one fitted. The new one was sourced from the manufacturer that had supplied the original ones to BR when 35006 was rebuilt in 1959.
New bogie springs
Dave seeks spiritual guidance before fitting the replacement spring.
2807 was in line for a bit of attention to its steam heat valve which was passing a little steam even when turned completely off.  After some serious talking to with a big spanner and a hammer it came apart and the valve face could be cleaned and the seat re-machined in the workshop.  Hopefully no more steam leaks via the steam heat.
Gil (L) and Bruce attending to 2807's steam heat valve.
2874 had some attention, Angela and Tim spent the day removing fittings from the cab.  The plate work has seen too much attention from the rust moths to be salvageable, but the hand rails/brackets/angle iron still has enough meat left on it to be worth hanging on to and restoring.
Tim drills through a rivet...
...Angela wields one of the just removed cab hand rails
With a full month of not running ahead of it, and a bit of a backlog of repairs needed, Dinmore Manor was split from its tender

A tender-less Dinmore Manor
The tender could then be prepared for its annual coat of bitumastic paint
Stuart shovels out the last of its coal...
...Andy hoses down the coal space...
...Kenneth pressure washes the drag box.
A suspected leak from the feed to the fireman's side clack valve had been booked, Jamie and Mark had a go at fixing that.
Jamie (L) & Mark
Dinmore Manor's brick arch had partially collapsed and was in a fairly perilous state.  Your humble blogger, who always seems to end up getting the grubby jobs ended up in the firebox with Eleanor demolishing the brick arch.  A request had been made for the old brick arch bricks to be assembled on the ground in the order that they came out so that it could be ascertained from that how the new one was supposed to go in.  Out it came, brick by brick, passed out through the fire hole door to Andy, who then passed it on to Chris who reassembled it on top of a couple of pallets.
The top of the brick arch
Andy took this photo... Eleanor & I were more than a little grubby by the end
The old brick arch, laid out in order
The bricks in the brick arch soon acquire a substantial layer of hardened deposits which we mostly removed and dropped through the centre drop grate.  Some of the deposits clung on to the bricks 
Chris examines one that looks a bit like a lunar landscape
I think Chris was wondering how he could incorporate it into a model railway.

Needless to say, when it came to emptying out the ash pan, there were some pretty large lumps in there that didn't want to come out through the ash pan door.
Blocked solid...
...there was quite a lot of it in there in the end.
The new brick arch in kit form... ideal job for a Lego enthusiast
Next on the to do list for Dinmore Manor was to blow though any blocked boiler tubes.
Andy with an air line clearing out the tubes.
Meanwhile, Mark cleaned up the faces on one of the injector steam feeds that had developed a slight leak.
Mark dismantling an injector
Not a bad day's work.  More of course was undertaken on Sunday, the following three photos were all courtesy of Matthew Harris, who had the following to say regarding what happened. "Smoke box cleaned, started first stages of new brick arch, needled gunned scum in smoke box, components from tender were removed and cleaned too."

Tender component (no idea which) removal & cleaning
This must be Sam (passed out as a fireman last week) building the brick arch
Presumably the needle gunning in the smoke box
And finally, whilst never actually a member of the steam loco dept, Malcolm Ranieri was known by many of us.  It was his funeral on Friday 1st November and a number of members of the steam loco dept were in attendance including John, our head of department. who said the following

"As most of you will know, we have lost one of our prolific photographers Malcolm Ranieri who suddenly passed away a couple of weeks ago. A lot of us on the footplate will have seen and even been given by Malcolm some of his magnificent photographs, so therefore I felt it only appropriate to attend the funeral with Chris Smith GWSR fireman who also knew Malcolm to represent the Steam Dept. of the GWSR & 7903LTD. It was a funeral that was very well attended, in fact to the stage of standing room only. The hearse was preceded by a traction engine as Malcolm also had pictures and articles published in Old Glory the traction engine magazine. Many well-known photographers and some of the early GWSR members were also in attendance so Malcolm certainly had a good send off from the whole Steam movement."

Photo courtesy of Paul Stratford

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