October 2013 Report

Welcome to the report for October.

Volunteer being trained in the skill of gas cutting
It's been an productive period for the Saturday Gang, with plenty of work to keep us occupied. We have welcomed back some old faces and been training our new volunteers. What's especially pleasing is it that most of this training has been provided / supervised by our younger members. So the skills they've been taught are almost immediately being passed on. Although it is true to say much of the work we do is laborious (reason why BR was so keen to be rid of steam) there is a huge amount of skillful engineering in what we do. All sorts of skills are taught and used, ranging from angle grinding, to using lathes, mechanical drills, welding basics to teamwork and communication. These are of course highly transferable skills, as many of our members have found, they started at Rolvenden and a few years later find themselves employed in the rail industry.

So if you're at all interested in railways, engineering then don't hesitate to get in touch. If you're not sure then come see us and get a little taste of what we do, no strings attached.

Onwards to the works section:

25 Northiam

Trial fitting one of 25's six axleboxes
The overhaul progresses step by step, little by little. Last month we covered the horn guides being installed and prepared. The keep boxes have also been machined and installed. With that completed our efforts have been focused on the axleboxes. Each of the 6 axleboxes has been under attention in the machine shop, various adjustments and smoothing out the wear has been undertaken. This will ensure the axlebox fits correctly in the frames and the wheels won't be "slopping" about when they are united. So although it may sound like we haven't done much this process of fitting the axleboxes involves much skilled machining, testing and a bit of trial fitting of the various component pieces. 

One of 25's axleboxes in the machine shop.
We have also completed the NDT (non destructive testing) on the wheels and progressed as far as possible on the motion inside the frames. 

To summarise the overhaul so far;
  • Boiler is complete
  • Wheels are ready
  • Frames have been de-rusted and painted
  • Cylinders have been rebored
  • Motion reassembly is under progress (as pictured and covered recently in the blog).

DS238 Wainwright

DS238 Wainwright - further steady progress
The overhaul continues to progress. Various components have been striped and work is taking place to refurbish / repair these. Much hard work and effort has been put in by the Loco Dept Team and the weekday volunteers.

753 P Class

753 P Class's boiler
The interfleet team (mentioned last month) have completed their placement and done excellent work on the P Class. Sadly their placement is over and the P Class is again in need of volunteer labour to progress the overhaul. As we keep saying when people ask the question of "when will the P Class steam again or when will the overhaul start?": "When we've finished 25 Northiam!". Always plenty of future projects for us though which is good. After all we couldn't possibly spend all day drinking tea and talking could we?!

In the works / news

Last month we wrote a feature about the maintenance work carried out on 65 Maunsell, the pendulum swung back to 23 Holman F Stephens which we wrote a feature on a few months ago. You may wonder why much of the work we focus on concentrates on our "bigger" locos - the simple truth is that these locos are regularly in service on the MK1 set, Pullman or other trains so require the most attention at the end of their cycle in service. 

Saturday Gang works on 23 Holman F Stephens
We found ourselves carrying out a boiler washout, followed by a mechanical exam. Attention was required in multiple areas. Of course there was the usual debris removal work such as sweeping the boiler tubes. However we carried out many mechanical tasks such as work on the safety valves (very important!), repairing and where required replacing gaskets (which cement a join between two valve faces). We also carried out a hydraulic test which involves checking for leakage and fault finding. Tests such as these can be long as of course steam locos don't have the sophisticated computer based systems modern rolling stock does. Upon inspection it was noticed that some of the leaf springs (which essentially are the equivalent of suspension in a car) were developing cracks. In order to remove these and replace the loco has to be jacked up and the pins holding them in place removed. It sounds simple but presents its own set of challenges. Even a relatively routine cycle of maintenance is different each time and uses many different skills - it never gets boring that's for sure!

Work continues on the boiler ticket extensions of 1638 / 6619. 

1638 Pannier - under repair
The process of winterising some of the locos has begun. Due to the lack of undercover space (if you have a few million quid floating about please buy us a larger shed!) the locos are stored in the open. This carries the risk of frost damage to various components but especially to cab fittings and the loco's motion. Hence it is necessary to remove components where possible for warm storage and sheet up what cannot be removed. This process has begun on some locos which are not expected to be used until the New Year. 

Below is the Video Report for October 2013:

Follow the link to our photo website: 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