June, July & August 2013 Report

Welcome to the Report for June, July & August. 
A volunteer looking for cracks in a leaf spring
We're into the summer season and the K&ESR is in full swing. Since the start of August we have been running our "red" service that sees two steam locomotives in operation. This puts extra pressure on the work that the loco dept does as availability levels have to be higher. Given we're not exactly flushed with operational locos either we need to do our job well!

25 Northiam overhaul

The Saturday Gang continues to work on 25 Northiam's overhaul. Progress has been slow and steady with further reassembly taking place. A key area of continued focus has been the wheelsets. As shown in the previous blog post we had stripped them down to the bare metal: during June this was completed and the wheels were progressively painted. A few coats of protective red oxide were applied, followed by grey primer. Once we got some slightly hotter weather in July we proceeded to paint them in a suitable black gloss paint. A seemingly small task like this can take up alot of resource!

Saturday Gang giving 25's wheels a gloss black top coat

25's wheels painted - with tape to stop
people from touching the paint!
However we haven't just been working on the wheels. Work continues to reassemble the frames and install newly repaired components back from where the came. The pistons & con rods have been connected up to the crosshead. The reverser mechanism has also been connected up to the crosshead. The "innerds" of 25 are slowly but surely being put back together.

Pistons now added (in the middle of the slide bars)
Crosshead fitted, reverser mechanism
(equivalent of gears in a car) connected
Attention is also being given to the axleboxes, we cannot lower the frames back onto the wheels without these. Checks have been made to determine the wear and any adjustments required.

Checking 25's axleboxes for wear
Works at the "front end" have been completed which has meant we have been able to reinstall the front bufferbeam. A small step perhaps but it does seem to, aesthetically at least, make 25 look a little more like a loco than just a large kit of parts.

Front bufferbeam refitted to 25 Northiam
Slowly but surely we are getting there! There's a fantastic spirit in the Gang at the moment as we continue to battle against the odds to return 25 to service. This is by far the hardest challenge we have had, much more extensive and complicated than Charwelton or Norwegian's tender overhaul. As always though we're rising to the challenge through a mixture of camaraderie, cake / biscuits, tea and appalling jokes! Special thanks is due to our steadfast regulars who keep the project going.

376 Norwegian

Just a brief update from the previous blog post, 376 Norwegian has been fully lined out and is in service. A point to note is that due to extensive frame strengthening works, Norwegian's power rating has been increased from a "3" to a "4". The number denotes how many MK1 carriages a loco can haul over the K&ESR. The highest we have is "5". This increased power rating has seen Norwegian haul the Pullman set, loads heavier than previous periods in service.

376 Norwegian after a day on the "B" set

DS238 Wainwright

With 376 Norwegian's overhaul now firmly in the past, efforts have been stepping up to return DS238 to service. Works are centring around the firebox and frames. As you can see from the below photos: repairs are taking place to the outer firebox and the frames are being progressively cleaned and painted.

DS238 Wainwright under overhaul, note frames painted

In the works / news:

Inspecting 23's spring hangers
The Saturday Gang has been busy assisting in the running maintenance of the K&ESR. For example, after 28 days in steam a locomotive requires a boiler washout, a mechanical exam and usually some kind of repairs! We have been assisting the main loco dept in carrying out such maintenance / repairs. A example of this is the work that we have been doing on 23 Holman F Stephens (currently on washout having completed 28days in service). A mechanical exam has been carried out, the tubes swept out and removal of a broken spectacle plate. The aim is to ensure the locomotive continues to perform efficiently and ensuring that any potential issues are spotted before they cause damage. Often unseen but this work is essential. No maintenance - no trains!

A collage of scenes showing Sat Gang volunteers at
the controls of 23 HFS, under the supervision
of the K&ESR operating assistant
The Saturday Gang was privileged enough to be rewarded with our own equivalent to a "Railway Experience Day". As you know, we are not locomotive crew, we don't physically operate the locos. However on occasion we are given the chance to sample the fruits of our labour first hand. Supervised by qualified operating staff several of our members had the opportunity to drive 23 Holman F Stephens up and down a short section of line (Rolvenden station to Sewage Works siding). This serves as a wonderful reminder of why we do what we do. Without our works, the locos simply wouldn't run. Needless to say we all thoroughly enjoyed driving 23.

We are delighted to report that 65 Maunsell has returned from her holiday at the Embsay & Bolton Abbey Rly and will be back at the head of the MK1 or Pullman set in due course.
65 Maunsell - back from the E&BA Rly
6619 has had some remedial repairs carried out. Work has also been undertaken to prepare our resident Pannier (1638) for a boiler ticket extension. All being well the inspector will grant a further year of running.

Unfortunately Marcia suffered some issues some months ago, recent investigation found an issue with the firebox. This will necessitate the loco being stripped, the boiler lifted, and extensive repairs being carried out. A shame seeing as Marcia was only back a few months.

Marcia withdrawn with firebox problems

Can you help? 

Some of the Saturday Gang, pictured a few years ago
The Saturday Gang is made up almost entirely of volunteers. The loco dept provides skilled craftsmen to supervise and guide us in our work (hence why our regular cratfsmen are part of the gang!). However we are in real need of extra people. The workload is large and some more help would go along way. If you look at what we do and think "that looks interesting but I can't possibly do that" then don't worry! All of us started without experience and built up our skills through training and working with others. We train and teach people all the skills they need which come in very useful in all walks of life. If you're at all interested or would like to know more than leave a comment on the blog or email saturdaygang@gmail.com. If you're still not convinced we'd be happy to show you round the works and demonstrate what we do. So what are you waiting for people?!

Below are two videos showing some of our work during the last couple of months can be found embed below or by following the link: Saturday Gang June 2013 Video Report & Saturday Gang July 2013 Video Report

Further photos of our work can be found at: www.kesrloco.co.uk

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

Many thanks for reading.

Saturday Gang

No comments:

Post a Comment