April & May Report Catch up!

Welcome to this belated Saturday Gang Report for April and May.

First of all apologies for the delay in getting this published. Our editor has been busy of late and hasn't had time to assemble all the material. However better late than never!

Even though the blog has been quiet over the last few months the Saturday Gang has been anything but! We've really got stuck into 25 Northiam over the past few months as there has been a bit less running maintenance to carry out than usual. We're pleased to say that there has been lots of progress!

Busy in Rolvenden workshop with 25's frames
and wheels on the right handside
Work continues apace on the motion reassembly. Last time round we showed you the slide bars installed, well after much work we are pleased to show you the pistons installed. The pistons are a very important part of the motion so we've reached another milestone in the overhaul. Installing the pistons into the cylinder bores requires careful alignment, otherwise potentially fatal damage could occur. The glands are currently being installed and finalising / testing the connections to the rest of the motion should occur during June. Once complete we will then fit the con rods and connect the pistons up to the crossheads, still plenty to do!

Pistons installation progressing.
Final lining will be undertaken in June
Measurements being taken to set the slide valves correctly

Beginning to set the slide valve port faces

With us looking to re-wheel 25 Northiam in the near future we turned our attention to the wheels. Like much of the loco they had years of grime, grease and previous coats of paint all mashed in. Using our steam cleaner we blasted off the surface rust (had been stored outside for a number of years) and loosened up many of the layers beneath. We then used a variety of hand tools (such as a needle gun) to strip the wheels and reveal the bear metal beneath. Although it doesn't sound much it took several days of constant effort to bring them to this state. During June the work will be completed by giving the wheels a thorough sanding, then we will crack test the wheels to ensure they're fit for service. The non destructive testing equipment we have at Rolvenden is excellent at picking up even the tiniest of cracks. If all that goes well we will paint the wheels in primer and hopefully rewheel the loco in a few months (depending on progress of the frames).

The initial steam cleaning of 25's wheels

Needlegunning the wheels down to bare metal

Going forward we are looking to refit the buffer beams and refurbish 25's axleboxes. Slowly but surely reassembly is gathering pace. The key thing of course is to do the job well and get it right.

Pistons installed into cylinder block
(refit the bufferbeam soon we hope!)
In other news:

376 Norwegian has re-entered traffic for another 10yr period (2013 - 2023). There was a slight mishap with some gauging issues at Tenterden but these have now been resolved. It's good to have her back! No doubt you will see more of 376 Norwegian during our main running season in July - August. It's really pleasing that something we worked on (the Saturday Gang overhauled and recommissioned the tender) is operational again. It really reminds us of why we volunteer and why we're not doing the other 100 things on a Saturday. Anyway, here's a few photos. The first shows the tender that we received to overhaul, the second shows it finished and coupled to the loco, the third shows the loco ready to go!

376 Norwegian's tender prior to Saturday Gang
 overhaul (note plants growing in it!)

376 Norwegian's finished tender, ready to roll! 

The completed locomotive & tender
Elsewhere in the workshop: Efforts on DS238 Wainwright's overhaul will step up now that 376 Norwegian is finished. The intention is to return this loco to service for a 5 year period to use the exisiting components to the end of their lifespan. Once the loco completes 5yrs it will be withdrawn for a full overhaul which will include fitting a new firebox.

DS238 Wainwright's overhaul progressing
So overall (no pun intended!) we have been very busy and made excellent progress. There are plenty of challenges just round the corner but we're looking forward to them. The work wouldn't be fun if it was easy!

We're now fully into the running season so there's plenty of work to come. So we're appealing for more volunteers. We really need more volunteers to continue our work and ensure the K&ESR has operational locomotives now and in the future. Its great fun and you don't need to know anything to volunteer. So why not give it a go? If you'd like to visit, even just to see what we do then please get in touch at saturdaygang@gmail.com

A video covering April and May can be found here or embedded below: Saturday Gang Video Report April - May 2013

Our photo album (to be updated soon): www.kesrloco.co.uk

If you haven't already please like us on facebook: Saturday Gang Facebook Page

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

Saturday Gang 

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