Monday, 11 November 2013

A Busy week

Monday 11 November

Ralph standing in the partially stripped vestibule end of BR Mark 1 RU 1936

Earlier last week we had to stop work on our long term project, BR mark 1 RU 1936 and put it away in the storage shed.  The reason for this is to get a few jobs done, on coaches that are needed for the Christmas running.
When the running set returned from its few days de-stocking and cleaning at Boat of Garten, we took the opportunity of checking the steam heating.  This showed up a couple of bad leaks that will need to be attended to, one on TSO 5057 and one on TSO 5060

Our Matterson jacks standing like sentries, awaiting their next vehicle

First of all we had to have a major clean up of all the debris from under 1936 as our lifting jacks were due to have their six monthly inspection.  whilst all of this was happening, Richard was draining the water tanks on the serviceable vehicles over in the storage shed.  We don't run with any water on board during the winter, its too easy to get caught out and have multiple burst pipes when they freeze.  Its a bit primitive but we provide a bucket of water in the toilets for flushing and use flasks for the hot drinks in the Buffet car.

On Thursday we shunted 1936 over to number 7 road in the storage shed where it will stay for the time being and brought BR mark 1 TSO 4777 over to the repair shed.  4777 had broken a leaf spring on the north end bogie, something that we hadn't had happen before.  First of all Richard, Daniel and I shunted the coach onto the turntable and set about turning it round, so that the problem bogie faced south.  Turning an engine in steam is easy as it does it itself with the vacuum motor, a coach is a different matter, the big handle has to be turned many times before it completes the circle.  On Friday Ralph and I lifted the coach, removed the bogie and placed it under the overhead gantry.  The weight of the bogie was taken up with the block and tackle just enough to take the weight off the spring, which was then changed.

The replacement spring fitted to TSO 4777
A small hydraulic ram is placed between the web on the bogie frame and the spring.  This then pushes down on the spring to release the tension on the eye bolts at the end.  This in turn releases the pressure on the suspension rubber discs inside the circular holder, the cone shaped retaining disc underneath is released allowing the split nuts to be removed.  (with a great deal of hammering to break the rust seal)

Richard gave the coach a check over, paying particular attention to the batteries which needed topping up with distilled water.

Another shunt on Saturday morning saw us take 4777 outside for weighing, this is to make sure that the weight on each spring is fairly equal.  It passed first time, all wheels on the bogie being within point four of a ton of each other.  It was then shunted back into its place in the service set.

The next coach needed was right at the back of number 8 road in the storage shed, Tommy assisted in helping me get it out and into the repair shed, where Ralph and Roger set about changing the brake blocks, whilst Richard investigated a steam heat leak.

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