March 2013 Report

Welcome to the Saturday Gang's March 2013 update.

At the end of March we started our running season and as such its been busy getting everything prepared and ready. We were hoping to be able to start "de-winterising" the locos but the bitterly cold temperatures have meant that we're still using frost precautions. These frost precautions prevent damage to the many precious components on a steam locomotive.

The Saturday Gang has continued to make steps forward with 25 Northiam's overhaul. Happily during March we began the reassembly process. All of the preparatory work has come together and the first few parts of the motion have been refitted. The slide valves are now in position: reassembly is a time consuming and heavy process and has to be very accurate otherwise the loco simply won't go!

The motion reassembly literally "getting of the ground".
This is the valve gear beign lifted up onto the frames for installation

Re machined slide bars now in place

Looking in towards 25's cylinder block,
note the newly installed slide bars
The painting of the frames is finally complete, it felt a bit like the forth road bridge project at times but we got there! Only a small part round the cylinder block remains in undercoat because further works are to take place. We have also removed a considerable amount of rust from inside the footplating which was causing a bulge on both sides of the cylinders. Work like this can only take place whilst the loco is dismantled.

Much like the Forth road bridge painting project!

Further machining has been taking place and more components are being prepared for reassembly. Putting a steam locomotive back together is much like completing a jigsaw puzzle, all the various parts fit together but they will only go together properly in a certain way.

Machining works on 25's pistons continuing

Note one of 25's new pistons being skilfully machined

Elsewhere in the workshop, the overhaul of 376 Norwegian is progressing with a few of having a steam test in early - mid April. It will be very good to have Norwegian back after a 7 year absence from traffic. Not forgetting of course that the Saturday Gang overhauled Norwegian's tender (quite a novelty given she is the only tender engine we have!) and has assisted on the loco with various tasks.

376 Norwegian - due to be tested soon!
Once again the Saturday Gang has been running various training sessions on a variety of machines and equipment. Another lathe training session was run where the basics of lathe operation were explained, along with all of the calculations which is the hard bit!
Looks complicated - and it is! 
All of these training sessions are good because not only do they help to train a future generation but they also help members when applying for jobs. Another of our number found employment on the big railway the other week, with his work at the Saturday Gang making him stand out from the crowd. So if you would like to learn new skills in a fun environment why not give volunteering a try? If interested please contact us at saturdaygang@gmail.com

A video showing March's work can be found here: March 2013 Video Report

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

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Thank you for reading, feel free to comment or send any questions you may have.

Saturday Gang

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