Monday 25 November 2013

Week commencing 18 November 2013

Apologies for the picture quality this week, the weather has taken a turn for the worst, covering the sky lights and making the shed dull, the yellow / orange light from the sodium lamps doesn't help either.

The week started off with a mammoth shunt to replace 5060 with 5057, 5060 was in the repair shed, whilst 5057 was at the end of number 8 road in the storage shed, you couldn't get any further apart.  Whilst we were doing this move, which included turning 5057 on the turn table, the weather threw constant snow showers at us, with around one inch of the white stuff on the ground.

BR mark one, TSO, 5057 was in for repairs to a very bad steam heat leak.  The leak was coming from the main two inch pipe situated above the bogie, at a point which was hidden inside the draw gear casting.

The coach was lifted, the bogie rolled out and then lowered onto a slave bogie, this was to give access to the pipe.

The south end bogie rolled out from underneath, it also makes for easier servicing this way.
The south end of the coach sitting on a slave bogie.
The new steam pipe in place, the red oxide painted pipe disappearing into the box section top right, then re-appearing in the galvanised 90 degree bend, centre left, behind the toilet soil pipe.  It was in this box section where the leak was, this point also had a difficult bend in the pipe that had to be re-created.
The new pipe had to extend further than planned, going through to the next joint further back.  Whilst we are doing this work we are reinstating the toilet radiators.  When the coach was refurbished a few years ago we did not have the lifting capacity that we now have, subsequently the toilet radiators were placed in position but not piped up.  One of the new pipes to these can be seen top centre.
Julinao has joined us on a three month scheme that the Belgian government is running, he is seen here working on 5057's batteries.
Julinao has also carried out a job for the S+T dept, they wanted the key lock fitted to the third lever.  The frame is then due to replace the one at Aviemore north.  This will then allow the frame to be unlocked with the single line token (lock to be fitted to number one lever) or when Aviemore Speyside box is switched in, with a key that will be released from the box that will operate lever number 3.
The bad weather brought in additional help in the form of Georgie and Craig of the P-way dept, they helped move along the dogfish ballast wagon by giving it a coat of paint.
Georgie applying the grey undercoat.
Craig on red oxide primer duty
No its not a ghostly appearance, just the reflection from Craig's high vis jacket.

Looking much better by the end of the day.
Richard climbing out of the pit after carrying out brake adjustment on TSO 4777

Then along came Saturday!

Things are improving in the C&W staff numbers department, we had seven members of staff in on the same day, unheard of!  long may it continue.
Roger getting to know a buck-eye coupling, which together with Ralph, they had stripped cleaned and greased.

Richard, pipework in left hand, operates the press with the right hand.

Ralph and Roger, looking as if they have lost something.
When not behind the camera I was trying to fix this door on 5057.  The door was the subject of an earlier defect report about not shutting properly, it was locked out of use until now.  When I inspected it I couldn't believe how big the gap was between the door and the frame, especially when you consider it was all replaced (by me) some four years ago.  There was nothing else that could be done other than replacing the door pillar insert with a new one.

Monday 18 November 2013

During the last week

Work continued on mark one TSO 5060

However we only had a skeleton staff on duty.
When splitting the buck eye coupling to separate 5060 from the next coach, see the end of the previous post, this skeleton was found hanging in the vestibule.  It was left over from the Halloween decorations, walking through the train in the dark and opening the vestibule door would have given you a big shock.
Richard battles with the steam heating pipework, there are three separate leaks in a ten foot section of the 1" pipe which are in need of attention. 
John wields the grease gun on the door hinges, we are carrying out the annual service whilst the coach is with us.
I stripped and repaired the lazy tongues in the north end door.  The picture was taken after I had removed the lazy tongues, replaced three rivets with bolts and then refitted them.  Then two wooden blocks were fitted to screw the window guides into, the left hand one is in place and awaiting the right hand one.  The internal panels were then replaced, together with new stop blocks for the bottom of the window slides.

Paul checked and topped up the batteries.
The buckeye couplings from both ends were removed and taken apart for cleaning before being put back together with fresh grease.  This is the south end coupling split into its component parts after cleaning, prior to being reassembled.

When Saturday comes....

Regular Saturday volunteers Steve and Alan set about painting the dogfish wagon into red oxide primer.
The other end or business end of the dogfish wagon, it had been out of use for some time with seized doors.  Bill Dodds set about sorting it out, got the doors working and gave it a service as well as patching some of the holes in the body.  Craig started painting it on Friday, followed by Steve and Alan Saturday (see above picture)
Finally for this week, many thanks are due to the Scotrail depot staff at Inverness.  They had finished with this welding machine and donated it to us.  It will be very useful to us as it is not just an arc welder, it also has a TIG facility.

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.