September 2013 Report

Welcome to the report for September.

Volunteers creating new components for
25 Northiam, using skills recently learnt
So the main summer season has come to a close and it gives the Saturday Gang and indeed the entire loco dept a chance to breath. We go back to "green" service which sees one steam loco and the DMU in service, making our lives very much easier indeed! However don't be under the impression we're idle during the quieter times of year.

We have welcomed two new volunteers into our group. It's really pleasing to recruit new volunteers, not of course forgetting to value our existing ones! The more people that get involved in the Saturday Gang the more of the really important overhaul and maintenance work gets done. Although we write alot about the locos and the work we do it is fundamentally the people that are important. This is why we place a great emphasis on the social aspect and having a good laugh together.

What do you mean I missed a bit?!! 
25 Northiam overhaul

The overhaul continues apace. The wheels which have received alot of our attention recently are now in process of being inspected for flaws. The front bufferbeam which we showed fitted last month has received several top coats of red paint.

Further work has been going on in the machine shop with new keep boxes and new bushes for the brake gear being manufactured. The horn guides in the frames have been re-instated and welded into position. They have also been measured and have been angle grinded to smooth out the wear that has accumulated over the last 10 years.

Welding up the horn guides on 25 Northiam
The overhaul is progressing step by step and the mainframes are inching closer towards being complete. Of course once the frames and wheels are ready they can be reunited. Slow and steady progress but it is moving forward.

DS238 Wainwright

Work continues to progress on DS238, further works have been taking place to remove components and strip the loco down to the bare essentials. As you can see in the photo the front bufferbeam has been removed and further frame painting has taken place. Striping a loco is certainly quicker than putting it back together but there is an immense amount of work to do once the removal process is complete. Counteracting and repairing years of rust damage takes much hard physical labour and effort.

Further steady progress on DS238 Wainwright
753 P Class

The K&ESR is fortunate to have a good relationship with the consultancy Interfleet who send a team of graduates to us each year: the graduates gain hands on practical experience of engineering and the K&ESR happily uses their labour! Among many other projects carried out on the railway the graduates needle gunned and painted the P Class boiler. It is now better protected from the elements and and looks better too. Further progress on the overhaul depends on the availability of volunteers. Naturally if more of you joined the Saturday Gang then we might be able to work on the P Class alongside 25 Northiam!

P Class boiler resplendent in silver paint
In the works / news

The usual running maintenance has been carried out and the Saturday Gang continues to support the K&ESR's operations in this manner.

65 Maunsell had done its turn in traffic and required its boiler washout, various mechanical exams and where required repairs or remedial action. The Saturday Gang removed 65's blastpipe to allow access to the tube plate. Whilst the blastpipe was removed we took the opportunity to remove the build up of ash in the corners. We swept out the tubes, which is a long physical job, removing the build of ash from the boiler tubes. Once completed Saturday Gang gave the smokebox a thorough clean because ash lingering for long periods can cause corrosion.

Saturday Gang works on 65 Maunsell
At the other end of the loco we also removed the old brick arch. It was crumbling and likely to fall apart in service. So after fetching some new firebricks we installed a new arch. Although its a relatively simple task you can probably imagine being inside a firebox is cramped, hot and very dusty. That's why we enjoy it so much!

Maintenance work ongoing - guess the Gang have gone to tea though!
Once all of the above was completed we tackled the boiler washout itself. The first job is to slacken all of the washout plugs which are dotted around the locomotive in various places. Sometimes these plugs can be very inaccessible as requires an array of tools and extension bars to gain access. Each plug is removed in turn and water flushed through the boiler, forcing the scale out (assuming the ashpan is open!).

Works continue on 1638 & 6619 to do the necessary to attain extensions to the boiler certificates.

Below is the Video Report for September 2013

Follow the link to our photo website: www.kesrloco.co.uk

Many thanks for reading.

Saturday Gang

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