Saturday, 30 November 2019

First day of Santa Specials

08915 at the helm with the first Santa Special of 2019, on it's way to Percy Main

At Percy Main
Rounding Percy Main curve onto the 1in50 climb

Up the 1in48 bank

After arrival back at Middle Engine Lane

Our Guard for today, Mark, gives 08915s driver the green flag for the next departure

401 taking water later in the day

Annoyingly not the best of photos...401 arrives back into Middle Engine Lane with the last train of the day

After 401 is stabled in the yard and the train locked up, 08915 shunts the stock back into the headshunt

Coaling up 401

On shed for disposal

Morning prep

Driver Michael oiling up

08915 departing the running shed with 401 in tow

Passing the braizer

Lit up on the coal road

With the SLO carriage shunted on the rear end, 401 joins the crossover onto the mainline to shunt the SLO onto the rear of the train

Friday, 29 November 2019

401 sanders work and decorating

The plate that holds the sanders direction lever to the cab wall came off whilst the handle was being operated the other day... to show where the plate sits on the cab wall and the valve that attaches to it

New weld, after a touch up with new paint the sanders valve was re-attached. Good as new

Handrails fitted with tinsel and fairy lights, a wreath on the front and the Santa Special headboard fitted. Ready to go for tomorrow

Work on 08915

The 08 after receiving its Christmas decorations

Michael applying new '915' vinyls

Smoke machine

Smoke machine set up under the blastpipe in Meaford No.1s smokebox

Proving successful

Wednesday, 27 November 2019

401 steam test

Lit up at 7am...401 was out on steam test today to check all repairs that have been made through November as well as carry out a gauging run for the MK1 TSO (see earlier post)

Steaming up

In the platform with our own MK1s

08915 then shunted the TSO into the north headshunt allowing for 401 to shunt the other two MK1s onto the back of it

Ready to depart

Arrival at Percy Main


Back at Middle Engine Lane, in the north headshunt

Back on shed for disposal after a successful test run with no defects to report

TSO MK1 Delivery

TSO Mk1 being delivered this morning, on loan to us from the North Yorkshire Moors Railway

Successfully unloaded from the low-loader, our own MK1 SLO was used as a barrier vehicle

Once the low-loader was clear the TSO was shunted further down the coal road, allowing for the SLO to be shunted back onto the flat road

The TSO could then be picked up again and shunted over the pit for a Fitness to Run exam

In the running shed over the pit for inspection

Staff training

Engineering & Operations Manager David delivering the second staff training session for Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums staff and contractors

Battery work

John reinstalling the battery on the tractor after it had been off for charging

Tuesday, 26 November 2019

401 winter maintenance update

Work hasn't stopped on 401 over the past week...volunteers have been busy removing the locos blastpipe in order to burn out the carbon. This photo shows the plates that fit around the blastpipe in the smokebox successfully removed

Showing where the plates pictured above are fitted, here the blastpipe base/flanges are exposed prior to hoovering the remaining ash/soot

Michael underneath. Unfortunately, the nuts and bolts that hold the blastpipe in place were fitted with the nuts underneath, thus began a very long drawn out battle with the seized nuts and bolts...

This photo and the one below show the space in which we had to work underneath, making it very difficult to hammer seized bolts out. Both of these photos were taken after the blast pipe was re-fitted, hence why there are bolt heads fitted in these photos

The successfully removed blastpipe was taken outside to have its carbon burned out

It was first burnt on its side, as shown, and then lifted up vertical to finish it off

The base after it had been cleaned up

Blastpipe back in place

Michael uses a plumb bob, or plumb line, to ascertain the blastpipe is properly in line with the chimney

View from the top

The before photo, showing the blastpipe full of carbon build-up. And the after photo of it nice and cleaned out

One of the other winter maintenance tasks has been to make and fit all new worsted trimmings at all oiling points

The drain cocks have also been off for some attention

Dismantled and cleaned, the taper plug was then lapped into the body and polished up before being reassembled and re-fitted to the cylinder

The drain cocks control rod was bent down at its end slightly to allow it to have some more travel, which in turn hopefully allows the drains to shut better

Michael turning a new pin for the rod pictured above

Re-fitting the drain cocks and linkages to the LHS cylinder

The weekends cleaning party, here Jean and Katie are cleaning the bottom end and Joe up top is polishing the tank

Rob cleaning the other side

Michael dismantling the RHS gauge glass drain valve which wasn't fully closing, causing the boiler to very slowly lose water

The eccentric cam that is fitted to the valve spindle...

...the cam lifts the valve on the right onto the face on the left. The valve itself had a tiny lump of grit in one of its flutes, this was removed, the valve rebuild and it is now fully closing successfully

Another task, Michael makes a slight adjustment to one of the centre firebars that was jamming on one of the rear firebars when they were being operated, which was preventing them from fully rocking