February 2013 Report

Welcome to the Saturday Gang's February 2013 update.

With the K&ESR's main running season fast approaching and time ticking on our in service locos boiler certificates we've been keeping ourselves busy! 

Our efforts have been focused on 25 Northiam's overhaul and some significant milestones have been passed. Previously we were preparing 25 for work on the cylinder block, we're pleased to report that during mid week in early February the specialist contractor arrived to carry out the works. The contractor re bored the port faces (the part of the cylinder block where the pistons rings slide backwards and forwards) to remove any ridges or wear patterns from 10 years service. As you can see this was no small job and produced plenty of swarf! 
The large boring machine inside the cylinder block
The boring machine removing ridges, note the swarf
produced by removing the high spots
So with this important milestone passed we continued with renewed enthusiasm for the tasks in hand. We mentioned in January's blogpost that the inside of the frames has been completed in red top coat. Naturally our attention has now shifted to the outside of 25's frames. Having previously been painted much of the frames in red oxide paint we have applied two layers of grey primer to the frames. Hopefully during March we will complete the process by applying a suitable black top coat! 
From red to grey, after a few coats of grey the
frames will be ready for top coat
The Saturday Gang have also been preparing and readying the frames for reassembly. To facilitate repair works on the running plate and slot for the reverser we erected some lobo access staging inside the frames. Although it seems simple, it is logistically difficult and takes some time. Much of the actual "work" we do requires far more time spent in preparation so we can ensure quality and most importantly safety. 

The access staging erected inside the frames
to allow safe access to 25's frames
Once the staging was erected we started our works on the right hand side of the frame. Interestingly a section of the running plate had not been riveted before and was loose on one side. With our access we were able to rivet the section back onto the frames. We were also carrying out minor works on the frames, more of that to come! 

Grinding out the slot in 25's frames for the reverser
All in all we continue to make steady progress on 25 Northiam's overhaul. It is getting to the stage of the overhaul where we are repairing the various components and thinking about reassembly (as opposed to dismantling!). I will caution readers though that 25 is still someway from completion.  

The Saturday Gang has also been assisting is ensuring that locomotives are ready for spring events and the summer season. We were pleased to observe our work on 23 Holman F Stephens and 1638 on the Thomas weekends. Our work varies from routine inspections, minor repairs to fault finding.

Without the K&ESR loco dept (of which the Saturday
Gang plays a big part) there wouldn't be any trains
As always the Saturday Gang has been busy with various training exercises and learning how to do various tasks. One of these was a short exercise which demonstrated how to repair lead lamps, which often in the course of duty become damaged and stop working. Instead of throwing away valuable equipment we learnt how to repair these, usually the fault lies inside the lamp's wiring. 

We have also run another session on using the oxy accetalene cutter or "gas axe". We had a ladder in stores which was identified as being life expired and dangerous. So we used it as an opportunity to practice gas cutting. Its an excellent way to do it because making mistakes on an old ladder that's scrap anyway don't matter, its a different story on a loco component or item that has to be refitted or reused! 

Gas axe practice with the pressure off
So its been another busy and productive month. The work never ends but it wouldn't be fun otherwise! The Saturday Gang is playing its part in keep the K&ESR's locomotives moving and ensuring that we have locomotives ready to replace those in service when their respective boiler tickets expire. This important, behind the scenes work is only possible because of the dedication of the K&ESR's staff (paid and volunteer). 

So if you have a spare Saturday every once in a while why not volunteer with us? No previous experience required and you will have fun (along with several cups of tea!). If you're interested or want to find out more please email saturdaygang@gmail.com. 

A video showing our work during February can be found below or here: Saturday Gang's February Video

Photos as always can be found at: www.kesrloco.co.uk

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Thank you for reading and feel free to comment!

Saturday Gang

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