December 2013 Report

Welcome to the report for December.

The grinding bay is always busy on a Saturday


December has been busy in more ways than one. The Santa Specials are always a very busy time on the K&ESR and if there aren't any locos then there won't be any trains! So whilst of course keeping the fleet going is imperative we have also been in a very important milestone in 25 Northiam's overhaul (see more below).

There is so much work to be done, so many different tasks and projects to be undertaken. None of what we do could be possible without the many hours, we collectively, put in. We tend to notice there is a trend amongst railway media to over emphasise the project itself and ignore the people concerned. Quite simply without dedicated volunteers (and paid staff too!) the steam locomotive / heritage railways would be banished into the history books.

Advent / Christmas is always a time for people to come together in a special way. The Saturday Gang are no different. Many of our members finally get some free weekends in December so its a joyous time for all of us to meet again. It must be said that the Saturday Gang values all of its members, no matter how small the contribution. For many small acts or the odd few hours here and there combine to form a large and valuable good. Of course an added bonus is that the usual biscuits are supplemented with mince pies, chocolates (non alcoholic ones!), sweets and so on. It's a good job we're busy or otherwise we would probably need larger overalls at the turn of the year!

Onwards to the works section:

25 Northiam:



After months of preparation, trials and checks we have made some visible progress during December. All of the horn guides were prepared and within tolerance. Early during the month we re-positioned the rear jacks to allow the wheels to be rolled into position beneath the frames. During this time the motion re-assembly has continued aplenty and is looking far more complete. Just to name a few components that have been refitted, includes the cylinder cock mechanism & brake beam. 

Gently lowering 25's frames onto the wheels
After another short period of preparation we have begun the process of lowering 25 Northiam's frames back onto her wheels. This is a very delicate and logistically complex operation. It involves gradually lowering the wooden blocks that support the main frames and taking the slack on the jacks. It has to be a slow process otherwise undue stress will be placed on one part of the frames. 

DS238 Wainwright: 

Progress continues, the midweek loco dept teams have been doing an excellent job cleaning up the frames. The boiler is still being worked on but is getting there. 

753 P Class:

No progress to report. 

In the works / news

6619: Works are progressing as part of the boiler ticket extension. Repairs are ongoing to ensure the loco operates reliably during this new period of running.

6619 & Charwelton in the shed

14 Charwelton: Receiving some minor repairs / light maintenance. Charwelton is our loco of choice for the driving courses so it's essential Charwelton is back in service in the new year. 

23 Holman F Stephens: We featured 23 in our previous report. Works are completed and 23 is ok to be operated. 

376 Norwegian, 32670, 32678: Winterised. 

65 Maunsell & 1638: in service. 

Videos / Photos: 

Check out our youtube channel shortly for December's video report: Saturday Gang Youtube Channel

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

A 2013 review will follow in due course. 

Many thanks for reading, 

Saturday Gang 

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